Saturday, October 25, 2014

Out into the sunshine

We’ve taken Parker to the pediatrician several times but, remarkably, hadn’t just taken her out for a walk yet. Today, a bright, sunny autumn day, was just the day. If only to put her in this cute little coat (thank you, Ben & Merrill!).

Then we took our little bear out in the ’hood. The farmers market was in full swing.

The sidewalk along the park was full of life.

And while fall comes late to the city, certain trees are radiant with color.

But by then, the bear was hibernating. Time to go home and eat again.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A surreal existence

Amazing how quickly a week can pass. Especially given that life has become an hourly preoccupation: watching the clock to abide by Parker’s feeding schedule. Catching a 30, 60 or 90 minute nap when possible. And otherwise, just pretty much… watching her.

There are a lot of things I never knew about newborns. Like, 'cluster feeding' - those first few days when they want to feed hourly and are utterly insatiable and you start hallucinating at 4am because you’re on some weird spin cycle of nursing, again and again and again without any sleep.

That their 'daytime' is the middle of the night so everything is copacetic while the world is awake, and you’re all alone – and awake! sometimes hallucinating! – while the rest of the world sleeps.

I’ve been cycling between two sets of pajamas, I drink tea to stimulate milk production, I haven't touched makeup or hair products, and have been outside a total of probably 90 minutes in 10 days. It’s very surreal, indeed. 

That said, it, and she, is lovely. 
Parker has an awesome disposition and is sweet and adorable, with her little facial expressions and chicken legs. And as surreal as it all is, I’m loving it, exactly for what it is: this really bizarre, once-in-a-lifetime (in my case) phase where up is down and you're forgiven for losing touch with reality because there's nothing else you can do but tend to the needs of seven pounds of helplessness. Nothing is expected of you except being where you are, loving and caring for her.

This is life.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Introducing mademoiselle…

Parker Ann. She made it! She’s perfect! Our baby girl is in the world!

Andrew and I made the trip to the hospital last Wednesday morning, a bright beautiful day in New York City, and by mid-afternoon we were parents to this perfect little nugget.

Of course she didn’t come out looking that calm and cute. The whole experience was messy and surreal. But amazing.

From hearing her first cries…

… to holding her in the recovery room…

… to acclimating to my mending body and her new needs throughout three long days and nights at the hospital.

We finally brought her home over the weekend, showing her Fifth Ave, the FDR and the Brooklyn Bridge—where Mommy and Daddy got engaged!—along the way. She was a trooper.

She definitely has some lungs on her, and she’s fiercely strong. Her little fists and mouth are powerful. And so damn cute. Even Milo agrees.

The journey continues: a powerful cocktail of love, delight, uncertainty, anxiety, relief, anticipation, and just sheer joy—all heightened by sleep deprivation and being absolutely clueless about what to expect and do. Thank god for other new moms who have shared their valuable insights and experiences, friends who give their love and support so freely, family who is happy to help and sharing our joy. A huge thank you.

After nearly a week, we’ve decided she’s a keeper.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Seven Letters from Paris

There are love stories, and then there are Love Stories.

I think my own histoire d’amour is pretty fabulous as I can’t imagine my life having unfolded in a purer, more perfect way for me, in order to finally meet Andrew. But sometimes you hear about (or read) a love story that is true Hollywood fodder. Like Samantha Vérant’s.

In 1989, Samantha and her best friend took off for a European adventure. While in Paris, they met two charming Frenchmen and spent a day and a half with them. Samantha was smitten with the one named Jean-Luc. He was more than smitten with her, and he wanted her to stay longer in Paris. But other destinations beckoned to the girls and, even after Jean-Luc wrote her seven beautiful love letters upon her return to the states, Samantha did nothing. She tucked the letters away and moved on with life.

Jean-Luc and Samantha in Paris 1989.

Fast forward 20 years. Samantha’s life in her words was “falling apart.” She was jobless, getting divorced, sinking greater into debt and moving back home. She hit bottom but, after reminiscing with her same best friend, dug out those old letters from Jean-Luc. She Googled him. Then emailed him. And guess what? Now she’s happily married to him.

It truly is the stuff that dreams—and Hollywood blockbusters—are made of. But as Samantha tells it in her new memoir, Seven Letters from Paris, it’s also real, both messy and sublime. She unabashedly recounts the passion, fear, thrills, uncertainty, to say nothing of French bureaucracy she endured in order to wind up with Jean-Luc in the South of France.

Learn more about Samantha's story, watch the book trailer and, above all, believe that happily ever after is possible.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

La troisieme

We’re still only two, but our days as a childless couple are numbered. Bébé is due to arrive on Wednesday. Next weekend, we will come home and nothing will be the same. It’s all just incredible to think about.

We’ve been mentally and emotionally preparing. Physically, I am beyond ready. And our apartment has been rearranged, organized and cleaned, and it too is now ready!
I am loving how her room is taking shape. Seeing as we just renovated and moved in less than a year ago, we weren’t looking to totally redo the second bedroom. And seeing how neither of us are interested in creating a pink or purple princess experience, her bedroom is sort of awesome.

Clean and bright, colorful and cute.

But accommodating the grandparents, cousins, uncles and friends we expect to sleep on that fold-out sofa.

As the year progresses, she’ll take over the room more and more. For now, it’s a mix of our stuff and hers. Slowly, we’ll turn everything over to make room for what I’m sure will be a growing stuffed animal and book collection, which has already been started by thoughtful friends.

I especially love that my friend, Connie, got her “baby’s first pastries”!

In fact, so many friends and family members have been generously gifting us. She’s a very lucky girl. So far, I’m loving the balance of old and new. I have the blanket my grandmother knit for me, along with the blanket my mom knit for her, plus Andrew’s baby blanket.

Plus soft stuffed animals, swaddle blankets and sheets. It’s a’comin, my friends. She’s a’comin!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The nine-month belly

The countdown is here. I am officially full-term, 37 weeks. I have two weeks to go.

Our baby girl is breech, meaning she should have gotten her head down in the womb to make an exit. But she’s head up—right under my right ribcage. As my mom pointed out, she has a mind of her own. So, given my “advanced maternal age” and a jumble of other factors and considerations, I’m scheduled for a c-section.

It’s not ideal, but I’m not going to fight it. After a wonderful pregnancy—save for increasing incidences of heartburn, cankles, backache and other unsavory side effects—it’s been smooth sailing. But things have turned. I’ve run out of steam. I am profoundly uncomfortable. And I’m ready to meet this little girl!

Monday, September 22, 2014


The UN General Assembly is in town this week and, happily, one of the primary topics of conversation is climate control.

I gave up red meat for environmental reasons. It was after reading Michael Pollan’s New York Times Magazine piece, the one that became the masterpiece known as The Omnivore’s Dilemma, that I decided to give it up. The short explanation that got me is this: it takes eight pounds of grain to produce a pound of beef (or four pounds of grain to produce a pound of pork, and 2.5 pounds for a pound of chicken). It’s just not sustainable. A veggie and grain-based diet is healthier for us, and better for the planet. So that was my concession; my simple act for the greater good. The environment is a huge concern for me, and that’s what I’ve chosen to do, among other things, over the years.

One of the things that I do less and less is attend rallies and protests. So when I heard about the People’s Climate March in NYC, I knew I wanted to go.

There were 310,000 thousand people in the streets of New York City. There were some big-name celebs and politicians there (Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Gore and others), but mostly I saw were families, students and international folks. 

I petered out after a short distance, but I was happy to be there to support my cause.

There was great energy, fantastic messages, and we can't lose sight of what's important in this world.

Coffee with almond milk (when I say coffee, I'm talking about 5-6 sips, but I still love the morning ritual)
Green juice (added spinach to the normal line up of kale, celery, apple, lemon juice and frozen banana)
Avocado toast

Salad wrap
Dark chocolate

A couple individually-wrapped Chuckles candies. Remember those? Not exactly high-caliber food, but my pharmacy run this evening included Epsom Salts, Preparation H and Tums—I figured I deserved a little spontaneous candy boost.
Eggplant parm, made by my wonderful husband (sans mozzarella)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

One year ago

Andrew and I like playing this game. One year ago, we weren't even engaged. We were each living in our own one-bedroom apartments. The single lifestyle.

One year ago, our Brooklyn pad was in the middle of renovations. We were packing up and paring down, but our new home was nowhere near ready for us.
One year ago, we weren't married, but the truth is, we were pregnant. I miscarried very early. It's not a pleasant memory, but it's important not to forget. Our happiness throughout 2014 is that much sweeter and more exciting because of all we've been through to get here, including the early bumps in our relationship, the long, arduous buying process, the wild renovations and even sad occasions like the miscarriage. The truth is, we are so lucky to be where we are to have what we have, and that's something to remember and acknowledge every day. xo