Sunday, February 7, 2016

Oscar: Twenty Three Months Old

Oscar, 2016

I'm a few days late, but our Ozzy is twenty three months old, on the cusp of his turbulent twos. Favorite phrases include "Stop it!", "I try!", "My turn..." You get the picture. He adores his brothers, playing rough, and his papa, especially.

Here's Axel at the same age.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


New York, 2016

A full day around these parts; Axel turned three and a half, as I mentioned earlier. We celebrated with a trip to the New York Hall of Science, complete with rockets, mini Mars rovers, and pneumatic surf boards.

Bo also clocked in at a smiley two months old and Will and I toasted the occasion with drinks at St. Mazie and dinner at Pearl's. We're probably getting cocky, but I think we're getting the hang of these three kiddos.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Axel: Three and a Half

Axel, 2016

Axel turns three and a half tomorrow, which is so funny to me, both because he's still so small and because he seems like such an old salt. Earlier this week he asked 'Will I be bigger than papa one day?'

He is interested in volcanoes, the planet Mercury, his snow boots, building forts, the wonders of tongue-twisting Dr. Seuss books and his show du jour, 'Paw Patrol.'

Here he is working on his letters at school this week.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Eyes Open

Bo, 2016

Bo has definitely transitioned from chicken-esque newborn to solid and charming baby. How did the last two months race by so quickly?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

So Far

Williamsburg, 2016

So I obviously haven't had much time to check in on what it's like to have three kids, three-and-under.

It's an amazing feeling and yet so intense and humbling and wild. If we were winging it before, now it feels like we need to be strategic and thoughtful about every little moment in the day. Who needs what at this exact minute? And that in itself is exhausting.

When people ask, I say this has been the easiest newborn stage yet. But that comes with a big caveat, in that it's easiest because the older two need so much that Bo's demands seem pretty simple and deliverable in comparison.

New babies need a lot of caregiving, but they don't throw tantrums or Cheerios or sob because they 'don't like Mommy and Daddy.' You don't have to worry about screen time, or practicing letters, or not practicing letters, or whether they are a nice person. Much of a new baby's development takes care of itself (oh look, my hand!), whereas the big guys need a lot of guiding and coaxing and wrangling, plus constant adjustments as new challenges come down the pike.

I think my brain is tired from trying to grapple with it all, which means that at eight weeks into Bo's life, I feel like I'm still not myself.

There's a lot going on and I can't quite see an on ramp back to life as it used to be, where I could finish a sentence or read a New Yorker article from start to finish in less than three months (oh yeah, because life as it used to be has been totally obliterated.)

In a good way, of course. The highs are pretty high too.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Theory

Williamsburg, 2016

Have you read this article, on 'How to raise a creative child'?

It resonated with me, not least because we have been having a lot of talks about future schools for the kids as well as just how much emphasis we should be placing on so-called enrichment activities outside of school.

It may sound premature given the ages of our children, but in New York people begin a crazy round of school applications for Pre-K when their kids are three, which means we had to make our decisions for Axel back in November.

We're really happy with our choice, but it can be unnerving to see other parents prepping their kids for the city's 'gifted and talented' program, something that involves workbooks and what amount to baby SAT problems, or battling through the admissions process at some of the city's very academic schools. It's nuts! Even if you don't want to go that route, it can make you panic and think, 'Should we be teaching our three year old Mandarin and piano, STAT?'

Anyway, the Times piece struck me, because it made me think a lot about our parenting style. I've been reading a lot of work by Dr. Laura Markham lately (and she happens to be anti-discipline.) 

Here's what the Times says: 

"So what does it take to raise a creative child? One study compared the families of children who were rated among the most creative 5 percent in their school system with those who were not unusually creative. The parents of ordinary children had an average of six rules, like specific schedules for homework and bedtime. Parents of highly creative children had an average of fewer than one rule." 
When psychologists compared America’s most creative architects with a group of highly skilled but unoriginal peers, there was something unique about the parents of the creative architects: “Emphasis was placed on the development of one’s own ethical code."

It's that last part that we talk a lot about at home. How to foster values without resorting to threats and rewards. The idea being that you should learn that hitting your brother is bad because it hurts him, not because you'll get a sticker or a gummy bear if you don't (or a time out if you do.) 

It may sound crazy, but we don't have a lot of rules at home and I find that when I do resort to a more old school 'Do it because I say so' style of parenting, the kids' behavior actually worsens. So it's interesting to see that a focus on teaching empathy rather than issuing edicts from on high actually works pretty well, according to 'Science'. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bo: Eight Weeks Old

Bo, 2016

It's interesting when the squalling newborn is the easy one in the family...

Here's a look back at what Axel and Oscar were like at the same age.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday in Brooklyn

Williamsburg, 2016

Quote of the evening: "Well, if we screw this parenting thing up, at least they have each other."

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Good Coffee

Williamsburg, 2016

It will come as news to no one who has ever had a newborn that my life lately is pretty stripped down to the basics: sleeping, nursing, firing off a few semi-coherent emails, picking kids up, feeding myself, buying milk. Coffee. Repeat.

Fortunately I have some very happy news on the coffee front. The Verb is back!!!! Relocated to Nassau Street, right by Manhattan Ave. I know this is sort of old news, but I just learned it was back yesterday and was so, so glad to hear it.

I was pretty sad when it shuttered a few years back, so it cheered me to no end to see Cisco (now the owner along with some very cool partners, which is wonderful) behind the counter. There were hugs. And he still makes the best lattes in all of Brooklyn. I am sort of reluctant to let others in on the secret, but it's only a matter of time, really.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Bo: Seven Weeks Old

Bo, 2016

Here's little Bo, oblivious to the giant snow storm (and his brothers A., in the same outfit, and O., both at the same age.)
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