Posts Tagged ‘ Brooklyn ’

NYC Is Kicking My Mommy Butt

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Strolling Fia and Wayne (in bottom basket) home. A mere 50-pounds in total. Good times.

No doubt about it: working moms have it tough. But I think I have solved the riddle as to why NYC is kicking my SAH-freelance mommy butt.

Now don’t get me wrong: most of my friends are working moms and they have their own unique set of challenges. However, I’ve noticed in telling them we’re moving to LA I get the same confused look. I explain that city living is really hard with a baby. They look a bit puzzled. Here’s why:

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LA Move–House Dilemma

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

My Bathroom I'll Miss

I have never been a suburbs person. Especially a house/neighborhood that is newly constructed, sans trees and character. But now I find myself in a bit of a predicament with this LA move.

When Fia was 2 months old, we moved to LA for a few months. The house we rented on the Internet looked lovely but in reality was a terrible set up, especially with a baby. I was miserable. I couldn’t wait to get back to Brooklyn. So this time Phil is out there looking in person so we don’t make the same mistake. Especially because this time we’ll be out there longer–probably a couple years.

We need to rent a fully furnished house as we are leaving most of our things here in storage and subletting out our apartment. But in renting, we have some very specific criteria. I want it furnished to our taste. I would like to be in walking distance of something. I don’t want dangerous edges and crazy spiral steps/staircase like we have now.  And I want SPACE. Coming from a NY city pad, I’m allowed to be greedy with square footage.

Last week, after much debate, we had a friend check out a house. She gave it a thumbs up, but warned “It’s Ethan Allen-generic.” I decided there are worse problems to have and thus began to embrace the new me. I decided I’ll live like most of the country does, driving instead of  lugging a stroller and toddler down the subway steps. I won’t get a minivan yet, but I’m ready to live in a newly constructed house, devoid of character. And I’ll be happy about it, dammit.

As my Brooklyn friend Courtney said, “When you have a baby, character is the least of your worries. I wanted character and I have a 3rd floor walk up with no dishwasher or laundry. But I have antique crown molding. Give me a freshly painted white box to live in already!”

She makes a good point. And this house is at least in an old neighborhood, so there are trees. Plus, it’s a 3-minute walk to Griffith Park, which is one of the largest municipal parks in the country. Take that, Central Park.

So now I’m excited about changing my tune. I told Phil, “We’ll bring ourselves. And our art. That will give it more personality.” Plus, with a transsexual cat, Wayne Sanchez, how can you not have character?

Here’s the dilemma:

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Moving to LA–The Fun Part!

Monday, September 26th, 2011

We'll Have The Beach! And Warm Weather!

So big news on our end: We’re moving to LA. In a few weeks. I’ve known for a while but just haven’t wanted to deal. It’s not that I’m not excited about it. The idea of a HOUSE, a YARD, even maybe a POOL makes me giddy (though nothing is yet in place, which is nerve-wracking). But leaving my beloved Brooklyn is going to be tough. We decided to make the move for several reasons, with Little Leroy (working title) solidifying the deal.

When I got pregnant and found out my due date was the end of January, we groaned. Good god, not another winter cooped up in a Brooklyn apartment with a newborn. Not to mention our pad is a landmine. It’s a loft with 28-foot ceilings, which means upstairs Fia could climb over the ledge and drop at least 20 feet. Even with all the baby-proofing, it’s just not set up for a toddler, much less two of them.

Phil is always flying back and forth to LA with his career as a screenwriter. It drives us both crazy. For example, here is our latest scenario: he flew to LA today, takes a redeye home on Friday, then next Monday he flies back, has a 10:00 a.m. meeting on Tuesday and comes home that night.  It’s getting a tad absurd.

Our phone rings regularly at 10 pm, usually bringing some sort of drama. The 3-hour time change is a relaxation killer.

He works from home. In the open loft, we have completely blurred the boundaries between his working hours and playing hours. I walk in the door and Fia beelines to him, even if he’s on the phone (his office is in her eye line. Impossible to prevent). I dash after her as fast as I can, but once she sees him it’s all over. She is very attached to her Daddy and if he doesn’t come out and hold her/play with her, a crying fit ensues. Doesn’t make for a great business call. Then I get the glare. I in turn get pissy, and so it goes.

I actually think living in LA in a spacious house, with a separate office for him and a time zone that matches the industry he’s in is going to really simplify our lives. But here’s where I get sad… click here to continue reading.

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Moving to LA–the Sad Part

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Fia with her favorite friends (and my babies too)

I have written a lot about my mom mafia here in Brooklyn–the small group of mom friends I hold close to my heart. I feel like their babies are in some ways my babies too. They are my shoulder, my crutch. In moving to LA, I’ll make new friends, but this chapter will never be repeated. It’s been the time of new motherhood–22 months of navigating the toughest waters of my life while at the same time basking in the magic of it all.  You only become a mom once. This next baby, while just as loved, won’t signify the same crossing of this life-changing threshold.

(In fact, I’m hoping it will be easier, since it’s a road I’ve already traveled.)

Thing is, I’ve always known that regardless of geography, this time is fleeting.  In a year or so, our tots will be starting preschool, and if I lived here, they’d probably go to different places. My mom mafia would move on, replaced by a new set of parents. Sure, we’d keep in touch and see each other when we could (and we will, via email, text and phone). We’d reminisce about our constant conversations of this time and laugh about the tears and the triumphants—from sleep strikes and nap woes to the first tooth and the first fall. But even with that, it wouldn’t be the constant it is now.  Because babies grow, and so must we. It is part of our journey.

So as I prepare to bid farewell to my dear friends, I feel a deep well of gratitude along with a heavy heart. These women helped make me the mom I am today. They have not only saved my sanity many a time, but also have helped me to become more patient, more caring, more kind. In essence, they have made me a better person.

When I board the plane with a one-way ticket, in many ways, Fia and I will be starting over.

It is going to be a chapter closed. But also a chapter well lived.

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Earthquake in Brooklyn!!! And I’m an Idiot.

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

I had a new sitter, Gayle, come over today and meet Fia. We were sitting on the carpet playing. I wanted to stay for a bit and make sure all went well. My feet were on the floor and I suddenly felt the ground moving. I almost said to Gayle, “did you feel that?” But then I thought, no, I don’t want this woman to think I’m a whack job. Yet. I must be having a dizzy spell….even though I’ve never had a dizzy spell before. Or maybe I’m going crazy. So, like a good hypochondriac, my mind went to all the dark places, including the what if something happens to me and I suddenly collapse and no one knows my symptoms??? Fia won’t have a mama. I won’t have the baby. Oh god, I’m dying. I just know it.

Then I get a text from my friend. “Did you feel the earthquake?”

HUH? WHAT?

Yes folks, we’ve had an earthquake! New York City! The reports are still coming in, but it appears the epicenter was in Virginia.

Holy crap. This is crazy stuff. And yet, I’m not going crazy, which is good.  Such a relief.  My body and brain are intact. I just have a good, paranoid placenta brain that doesn’t connect dots….like floors shaking might equal an earthquake, not a tumor in my head.

I hope no one got hurt.

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