Thursday, September 18, 2014

Brim

Williamsburg, 2014

Life feels pretty full to the brim at the moment.

The last few days have been busy with school pick ups, drop offs, lunches, bridge walks, Blue Apron dinners, chats with friends, lots of coffee, ice cream with Axel, workouts, many many night time wakeups with Ozzy, lots and lots of work, new assignments, and, oh, a movie premiere.

Only in New York, kids.

I think tonight is a night for Seamless, pyjamas, and tea.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Oscar: Six (and a half) Months Old

Oscar, 2014

I have pretty much stopped doing weekly updates now that Oscar is so very grown up, but I sort of couldn't resist this morning. Look at him!

For comparison, here is Axel around the same age. They look a lot alike, huh? It's hard for me to pin down the precise differences. I think Axel had more porcelain, English-y coloring, and darker, nearly green eyes at this stage while Oscar is a little more obviously peachy and golden-haired and blue eyed. Maybe that's just his post-summer glow?

Either way, extreme cuteness.

Axel, 2013

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lately

Williamsburg, 2014

Lots of changes around these parts. Oscar is army crawling like a fiend. To say I am not ready would be an understatement. I mean, he's so cute and determined about it, but I was just getting used to the whole 'I have a second child' thing when he was relatively stationary, bobbing around in his bouncer. Now I turn around for a split second and he's moved eight feet across the room.

As Oscar gets more interactive, Axel is getting a little more ornery about his little brother. He still says 'Don't cry Oscar' and will bring him the odd toy, but the other day I was reading him a book and as soon as he noticed Oscar crawling into position to get a view of the action, Axel started moving so that he would block Oscar's view. 'My book,' etc. So there's that.

All in all, he's been very brave about going to school, but he's definitely bottling up some of his nerves for later in the day or the weekend, freaking out when I am out of sight for a minute.

I had friends visiting this weekend and he was a little skeptical, almost like 'Don't leave me with anyone else!' I have been so proud of his transition to school but it's hard when I leave to see all these other kids crying as Axel plays independently (because the teachers are tending to the ones having meltdowns.) They keep telling me he's doing great, and I think he is, but I still know it's a big shift for him.

He's also a little worried as I'm trying to transition him away from bottles and completely onto sippy cups and regular cups, and he is none too thrilled about it.

I know we should have done it earlier, but when Oscar was born I was really conscious of not wanting to introduce any other big changes to Axel's routine. But now that he's two, and in school, I feel like it's time.

It's a bit sad though, as Axel has never really had a pacifier or a lovey and he definitely finds a good deal of comfort in his bottle. So last night and this morning there was a lot of harumphing and 'I need my bottle' and trying to move chairs so he could climb up to the cupboard and get one himself. There is no perfect time, but of course it's hard to see my generally well adjusted fellow feeling angsty and out of sorts.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Renegade

Williamsburg, 2014

I went to the Renegade Craft Fair and all I got was this embroidered Woody Allen patch.

Just kidding. I did not by an embroidered Woody Allen patch. I just wanted to report that such a thing in fact exists.

Friday, September 12, 2014

11211 Love

Williamsburg, 2014

When we came back from Maine, I had a few weeks of feeling seriously malaise-y about our return to city life.

I had this pervasive, grumpy sense of 'What is the point of living here?' I think it had something to do with feeling so suddenly nature-starved and noticing all the grit and grime everywhere. Man, New York is dirty and expensive and hard. Midtown is the worst! You kind of look at the tourists, grinning madly under the Radio City Music Hall sign and think, 'what's the big deal?'

I'm not being especially articulate about it, but it's obviously a challenging place to choose to live. In late summer, especially, when everyone has just some back from somewhere wholesome and amazing, you feel the thud of reality hitting.

Really, it is an insane place to live...it's expensive not just because the actual cost of living is expensive, but because of all the shortcuts and small comforts you grasp onto to make living in a tough place just a little bit easier.

But in the last few days my irrational, hopeless love for the place has been coming back to me. I'm exploring again. Maybe it's the season? Last night we sat out on our porch looking out at the sky, thinking how lucky we are to be here!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Etc.

Williamsburg, 2014

A few things on my radar lately...

I am loving this post, 'Adventure is where you are.'  This sentiment, especially:

'What if you just want an awesome life? How do you create adventure and fun everywhere you go? Well I have some theories. I think you have to commit to your fun like it’s a life project you’re going to complete. Some people train for marathons, other do yearly fasts. You are the person who decides: this year I am going to have the BEST TIME EVER. You track it. You watch it. You plan for it. You spend every weekend going somewhere new. It doesn’t have to cost anything. You’re an anthropologist. You’re a documentarian. You’re a journalist. Whatever mindset you have to adopt to feel the need to completely explore where you live, to do everything, to chronicle it all, if only in your mind, do that.'

I also love this post, 'Friday night meatballs', on the idea of starting simple traditions.

The author sets up a weekly dinner party, just simple spaghetti and meatballs, no pressure. A space in time to press pause, without feeling like you are trying to be Martha Stewart.

'There's something about the mix of candlelight and comfort food (okay, and wine) that encourages people to relax and share their stories. I've always found hosting parties to be stressful, but Friday Night Meatballs has become a relaxing escape at the end of the week. In his book The Sabbath, rabbi and civil rights activist Abraham Heschel observes that "there is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord." This, he says, is the point of taking a day off for rest and reflection and the company of loved ones: it's when we manage to stop worrying about making a living that we start actually living.'

And then there's this, 'If this isn't nice, what is?', which references this great Kurt Vonnegut quote:

'One of the things (uncle Alex) found objectionable about human beings was that they so rarely noticed it when they were happy. He himself did his best to acknowledge it when times were sweet. We could be drinking lemonade in the shade of the apple tree in the summertime, and uncle Alex would interrupt the conversation to say, "If this isn't nice, what is?" 

So I hope that you will do the same for the rest of your lives. When things are going sweetly and peacefully, please pause a moment, and then say out loud, "If this isn't nice, what is?"' 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

School Days

Williamsburg, 2014

Well I could not be more proud of little Axel. He definitely tackled his first day of nursery with a seriousness of purpose, like he knew it was a big deal and wanted to figure out the rules of engagement.

In the run up to today, there have been get-to-know-your-classmates playdates and emails about cubbies (cubbies!) and even a home visit from his teachers.

Axel was uncharacteristically shy when his teachers came to see us this week, so I think he knew something was up. But today he charged happily into the classroom and seemed like he got the gist.

I'm excited for this new phase, since I know he'll have so much fun. Still, our whole family routine is shifting into gear...several days a week there will be an early morning walk to school, with a little packed lunch (eeek, I am not ready for that part.)

There's a schedule and notices about how it's a nut-free school and sunscreen and so on. It feels like we're crossing from baby into kid territory, and I love it, even as I'm a little anxious about all of the moving parts.

Ultimately I know he'll adore nursery, but it's a big shift, and one that had me tossing and turning a bit last night. It's also a change for me, from the office (where my most recent project just wrapped) back to free range, freelance life, which sounds idyllic but is a little scary as well.

Thank goodness for new suede toddler shoes.

First Day

Williamsburg, 2014


First day of school for Axel. No tears, in fact the teacher said at one point he looked around like 'Why is everyone crying?'

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lately

Oscar, 2014

This guy is extraordinarily close to crawling...and after a long run at work I am definitely missing both boys and ready for the next phase of fall and my return to working from home/any coffee shop that has WiFi. Many more thoughts on all those big shifts to come.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Chatterbox

Axel, 2014

When Axel turned two, it's almost like a switch flipped, and he went from talking to talking in full sentences. I'm still amazed at some of what he manages to string together..."Daddy is driving the gold car.', 'I'm sitting next to mommy', 'I dip in the bubbles?', 'I'm on the top of the sofa.'

There are still fragments and phrases, like 'Play outside now.', 'Scary crab' or 'Scary lobster,' but for the most part he can express what he wants very clearly as well as everything he's observing around him. If I say, 'Let's go sing Oscar a song before bed,' he'll wander over to Oscar's crib and sing 'Twinkle Twinkle.' It's so fun and the dialogue is making things much easier these days. I can only imagine the sorts of things he's going to start saying when he begins school next week.