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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:
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations | Tags: Brooklyn, city living, entertaining toddler, exhaustion, forecast, motherhood, moving, moving to LA, pregnancy, pregnant, sahm, traffic, weather
Friday, October 7th, 2011
Refusing To Eat
It’s amazing the yin and yang of motherhood. This Sunday, while Phil was on day 9 of his epic LA journey (that I thought would never end), my two closest mom friends took me to brunch. Sans babies. It was heaven. We actually went to a nice place, complete with linen tablecloths. I didn’t find myself grabbing for the ketchup before Fia flung it across the room; the water and ice remained on the table; we didn’t pull out crayons as an act of desperation. And the conversation. Oh my god, the conversation. We actually spoke in complete sentences. I realized I still really do know the English language.
After that, I treated myself to a prenatal massage. I had no qualms about leaving Fia with the sitter for the majority of the day. I needed the break. Between Phil’s absence, the impending move to LA and subletting our Brooklyn apartment, the pregnancy and my freelance work, I could easily justify the R & R.
In short, Sunday was glorious.
That’s what awoke me at 5:15 Monday morning. WTF? Fia sleeps until 6:30. Except Monday she decided to throw me a fast one. The rest of the day consisted of dodging curve balls (I know nothing about baseball, so pardon if my puns are messed up).
By that evening, I was so spent I just camped out on the couch with Sesame Street. I couldn’t deal.
I put her in her high chair with food and waited for the clock to hit 6:30—that’s when we begin the bedtime routine. She sat there, not touching anything.
I asked her (from the couch) to please eat. Instead, she took a gob of peanut butter and wiped it in her hair. Then did this devilish “heh heh heh” laugh. I kid you not, it kinda freaked me out. Maybe she is possessed? Do I need a priest? Maybe I was so tired my imagination was running wild. I took her out and gave her a bath.
She loves the bath. This night, she hated it. Screamed the whole time. And did that devil laugh. Good god. She threw water everywhere. I got done as quickly as I could, changed into comfy sweats myself, then gave her the bottle. She drank all of it, and I had a glimpse of optimism that I would soon be off the clock, in my comfy clothes, relaxing. I pulled her to my shoulders to hug her goodnight as I always do.
Are you f–king kidding me? I look at her and myself. We were covered in barf. What amazes me is how calm I am outwardly. I think I just go into my own possessed trance mode. Inside though, I wanted to cry. And scream. And maybe break something. Instead, I put us both in the shower, with our clothes on, peeling them off and washing off the barf. Neither of us enjoyed the experience. I got us both into our pajamas, said good night and she went down.
I sat on the couch thinking about what a difference a day makes. Sometimes it’s too my benefit. Other times like this, when the massage/brunch/relaxation go out the window at the speed of lightning, it’s to my detriment. It just amazes me how fast moods and scenarios can change with a toddler. I guess that’s life and it’s nothing I don’t already know. It’s just more magnified now, since it’s not all about me. In the end the ebbs and flows even out, right? They must. I hope so.
Suffice it to say, Phil came home on a red-eye later this week. I don’t know who was happier to see him: me or Fi. It makes me realize that gaps he fills in. We trade off mornings getting up with her. And he takes over at 6 pm and gets her fed and ready for bed. I’ll be relieved in a few short weeks when we’re all in LA together and this solo parenting thing becomes a rarity. I don’t know how the single moms out there do it, or the military moms, or anyone who parents alone. But I know one thing: I bow deeply to them.
Friday, October 7th, 2011
Fia’s latest milestone is chatter. It is so damn cute I can hardly stand it. At 22 months, she is almost saying complete sentences. She also makes me realize all the grunts, groans and words I use. I’ll clear my throat. She’ll imitate—hmmm didn’t even realize I cleared my throat.
She also says the word “sure” super enthusiastically. She says it to a lot of things. If she’s in a “sure” mood, Phil and I say things like, “Fia, do you want to wipe Wayne’s nose?” “SURE!” she says. “Fia, do you want to mop the floor?” “SURE!”
I swear, when you have a baby, you don’t need to pay for entertainment. They provide it for free.
She’s very specific when it comes to “no.” She says it in such an emphatic way; it cracks me up every time.
She is still trying to master jumping. She can’t quite get both feet off the ground yet, so she kind of shuffles them both and jumps with one leg, all the while saying, “jump jump jump.” Again, hilarious.
I love hearing her little voice. And seeing all these small, but significant milestones.
We finally got some of them on video. Must remember to capture all this.
Would love to hear some of your funny milestones with your babes.
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.
Categories: A Fi Grows in Brooklyn, Fearless Feisty Mama, Have Baby, Will Travel, Mom Situations, Moving to Los Angeles, Must Read | Tags: Brooklyn, Brooklyn Babies, changes, life changes, Los Angeles, mom friends, mom mafia, motherhood, moving, moving to LA, moving to los angeles, new mom, plane, pregnancy, pregnant, travel, travel with baby
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
I was in the air when the first plane hit. Three minutes later I landed in Newark, oblivious to the world collapsing. Twelve hours later I would make my way to our apartment and fall, sobbing into my husband’s arms. Oblivion replaced by sorrow.
We had just moved to New York City 3 weeks prior. Phil was about to start his Master’s in film at Columbia.
My flight on September 11th was supposed to be at noon. I was traveling home from a Food Network appearance in Cincinnati. For some reason at the last minute I decided to change to the 6 a.m. flight. Unbeknownst to me, karma was on my side.
As our plane descended I distinctly remember looking out the window and seeing the towers. I remember feeling so lucky—so alive–to be living in this great city and starting this new adventure.
At that point in my life, kids were not part of the plan. I had no interest.
In the days following the attacks, I mourned like the rest of the country. Shell-shocked by the hate, inspired by the love.
Years went by and September 11th became part of me, just like it did for most of us. It was always there, serving as a timeline in life. “That was before 9/11.” or “That was after 9/11….”
On December 2, 2009, Fia came into our world. The cocoon we created during our stay in the hospital was nothing short of magical, even surreal. It was a bubble of warmth, safety and love. I felt panicked when it was time to go home. I knew nothing about taking care of a baby.
Phil and I gingerly loaded her into our rented car. I got in the back with her and we began the trek from 168th and Broadway to Brooklyn. It was snowing. Phil drove about 40 mph down the West Side highway. We were paranoid new parents.
When we passed Ground Zero I looked out the window and began to feel a heaviness like I’ve never felt before. It was deep and sad. It carried the responsibility and burden of bringing a life into this world. It said, “This is a dangerous place full of hate. Why did you do this to something you love so much?” It said, “This is an unworthy world. You are selfish.” Had I been standing, this profound pain would have taken me to my knees. I tried to push it away and force happy thoughts. As I looked down at my tiny, sweet baby I thought, She has no idea what her world outside the womb is. But it’s my job to teach her. And love her no matter what.
I believe it was at that moment that the real burden of parenthood began. I carry it with honor, understanding and respect. I’m on my 21st month now and will continue to carry it as long as I’m lucky enough to walk this world. This is life and it is fleeting. It is only by the grace of god, go I.
Categories: A Fi Grows in Brooklyn, Fearless Feisty Mama, Must Read | Tags: 9/11, Airplane, airplane travel, birth, born, Fia, motherhood, new mom, parenting, plane, September 11, tragedy, travel