Monday, April 30, 2012

25 Weeks

Maine, 2012
25 weeks, 2 days

Had a speedy weekend in Maine accompanied by some gorgeous weather, grilled, steaks, and pretty drives through the countryside.

The bump is progressing nicely, though being in a car for 7 hours is starting to be a little bit uncomfortable. Lots of bathroom breaks and stops to stretch. And lots of activity these is doing his ninja moves for much of the day.

24 Weeks

23 Weeks

22 Weeks

20 & 21 Weeks

19 Weeks

18 Weeks

17 Weeks

16 Weeks

15 Weeks

14 Weeks

Friday, April 27, 2012

Maine Weekend

Maine, 2010

This morning we are headed up to Maine to open up Will's parents' house and to look at real estate with my mom. Looking forward to walks, the fireplace, and being on the water.

We'll be back Monday with pictures!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

940 Saturdays

New Hampshire, 2011

So Tracy Moore from Jezebel has this great essay on how there are only 940 Saturdays in a childhood (birth - 18.) Not to mention only 18 summers. That little factoid comes from a recent book, No Regrets Parenting, that makes the case that parents should really savor their time with their kids and not get too caught up in over-scheduling or wasting time on needless anxieties etc.

As Moore puts it, this one simple little stat can have just the opposite impact, and prompt a full on panic attack. All the Saturdays must be perfect, Peter Pan-style idylls:

"I'd be lying if I didn't admit that our Saturdays are sometimes just spent making sure [my daughter] plays hard enough to get that nap and then hard enough again to fall asleep and could you please just take ONE MORE BITE of the rice and beans you claimed to love five minutes ago so you don't wake up asking for a graham cracker at 2:34 a.m.?Although she is always totally adorable, it is sometimes a real slog just to get through, especially when mommy hasn't had her coffee and ibuprofen. 940 Saturdays guy leaves me bloated with regret for the Saturdays that are already gone - the Saturdays when this little baby couldn't even hold her head up yet, or couldn't even walk, or could walk but only real shitty and how funny that was, and it all makes me vow to do better. Like, magical Saturday pillow fortress time better."

My theory? I think you just need a few really good Saturdays. Those are the ones that stick out, anyway. 

Midweek Madness

Miike Snow via

Went to see Miike Snow at Terminal 5 last night. Have now taken to adding extra vowels to everything and shall henceforth be known as Saarah. Will informs me that the extra "i" is because he is Swedish, and is not some weird indie affectation.

Anyway, it was great. I am hopelessly bad with remembering names of music I like, but I was clued in enough to recognize songs like Sylvia and Animal. There were lots of thirtysomethings as well as some very excited teens dancing away. One of the boys, who must have been about 16, was wearing an ironic trucker hat and skinny acid washed black jeans (plus shaggy Bieber haircut.) We were joking that if we raise our son in NY (all signs point to yes on that front), this is what we are up against.

Oh, and someone tried to pick me up! Ha! Will and our friend Dan went to the bar for some beer and I held down our balcony seats. When a guy asked if he could sit there, it was too loud for him to hear me say it was taken. He kept trying to strike up a conversation with me, asking me where I was from etc. I was distracted by my phone and he asked, "Is that your boyfriend you're texting or just a friend?" Um, my husband is at the bar and I am 6 months pregnant?

Unlucky day for that guy but funny nonetheless. I guess you can't tell if I am sitting down?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Rebecca Robertson's Loft via An Afternoon With

Via the wild wild west of Pinterest, which I've only just gotten into, I discovered this site called An Afternoon With, which features creative types at home in New York. It's kind of like The Selby, but less cloyingly hipsterish, somehow.

Anyway, it's always interesting to see how people live, especially editors, photographers, stylists and the like. I especially love Rebecca Robertson's loft (above.) She's the decorating editor at Martha Stewart Living, and its fun to see her casual cool style, which is not very Martha at all (I like how she makes it work with children. Chalkboard paint seems key.)

A few more interesting spaces here, here, here, and here.

It's the ultimate nosiness fix because photographer Michael Mundy and his partner also tell you what these people do for a living.

Which reminds me, I actually have some work to get done.


Thailand, 2011

This photo has nothing to do with doulas, clearly. I just like it. I've been interviewing doulas lately, which feels a little bit like free therapy for the expectant mother. In giving them some background on my pregnancy so far, I've been able to express my ambivalence about my doctors and chat a lot about how I would like my labor experience to go (or at least, how I would like to feel.) It's helped me to articulate a lot of things and I really appreciate the relationship building aspect of the whole process.

Now, don't get me wrong. My doctors are great (I go to a group practice, so I rotate through the OBGYNs for each visit and one of them will be on call when I am in labor.) However, it's a busy office and sometimes I feel my appointments go like this: blood pressure, scales, pee-in-cup, everything okay?, off you go...

And I'm left with a question on the tip of my tongue but sort of feel squeamish about asking because everything seems so routine and on the clock.

So I knew from the get go that I would struggle in the hospital without a bit more TLC. I want all the clinical stuff to be taken care of, but I also want to feel like a special case. Women may have children every day, one-born-every-minute, etc., but for me this is a momentous first. What I love about the concept of a doula is that she visits you at home before and after birth, she comes to your house for the early stages of labor, and is with you throughout the whole experience. It's a lifeline for you and for the dad, as she can explain what's happening to him in non-medical jargon and just generally keep everyone as relaxed and positive as possible. She also acts as an advocate for you and helps with the initial breastfeeding (carrying on with you at home if need be.)

For me a doula has become my non-negotiable. I seriously don't know how women do this without them.

Monday, April 23, 2012


via Rikshaw Design

I haven't done that many gear posts of late, mainly because I've been feeling a bit daunted by All.The.Things!

Yes, in terms of essentials, a baby probably doesn't need all that much to begin with, and certainly not as much as the baby gear industry would suggest.

But when I began to do research (thinking: I'm going to be a zen, minimalist, pragmatic mother, unswayed by the baby industrial complex), I realized my list of just-the-basics was fairly extensive.

Forget the Etsy mobiles! You can't even take the baby home without an infant car seat that doubles as a NASA experiment. Then there are video baby monitors. You probably don't need one, but they'd sure give a neurotic first time parent (who, me?) peace of mind that all is okay with baby (without the need to open the door and wake said baby up.)

An organic mattress is also edging up my list. Read one paragraph about off-gassing, and you will find yourself justifying the purchase of an object that costs far more than it should (but who can put a price on their baby's safety, right?) Plus there's the thought of clothing a creature that grows by several inches a month. You can certainly buy cheapie Carter's onesies, but from what I've been reading you go through several a day just to keep the little person clean. So you need, what, 49? Unless you want to do laundry 8 times a day.

People have also told me that in the city you really need two strollers, and several other baby wearing contraptions just to get from a to b. I guess this is because you want a flimsy little one for the subway, and a more substantial one for trips to the grocery store over jagged sidewalks and pothole-riddled roads. The baby-wearing is for the places you can't take either super-engineered contraption.

In my quest to be pragmatic (and have some funds to save for things like, oh, college), I've sort of gotten over my obsession with precious baby wares (or at least put in on hold til we've tackled the things we do need.)

But it's still nice to look at the fun stuff, and these little things by Rikshaw Design are soooo much more my style than the rest of these "required" space age gizmos. Le Sigh.

Field Trip

Sripraphai, Queens, 2012

On Saturday, a friend took us to a perfect Thai spot in Woodside, Queens.

There's nothing especially atmospheric about the dining room at SriPraPhai (the food is really the point here), but we sat under a canopy of flowers in the backyard and ordered dozens of plates of delicious food accompanied by fresh coconut juice. It's not exactly a secret, but it was news to me. We'll definitely be back.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

24 Weeks

24 weeks, 2 days

The usual Saturday morning routine: the Verb, walks around Williamsburg.

Last night we had a good local evening as well. I dragged the sick husband to a movie at Nighthawk Cinema which is great...fresh lemonade and real popcorn (plus anything from fish tacos to a bottle of wine, if you like) delivered to your seat. We ended the night with a slice at Best Pizza and a pitstop at a neighbor's party on our roof, complete with live band.

24 weeks is treating me well so far...apart from the fact that I seem to be waking up incredibly early (well, for me), starving. It's not that I don't think I'm eating enough during the day. Somehow, the 12 hour "fast" just seems to be too much and I find myself creeping out of bed at 7 for cereal. Otherwise, life is good.

23 Weeks

22 Weeks

20 & 21 Weeks

19 Weeks

18 Weeks

17 Weeks

16 Weeks

15 Weeks

14 Weeks

Friday, April 20, 2012

Planning Mode

Paint chips, 2012

There are aspects of life at the moment that wake me up at 4 a.m., some of them less fun than others (finances, what ifs, will-the-baby-think-the-theoretical-nanny-is-his-mother?, the cat deciding to walk across my head.)

We move in approximately 45-60 days, which is insomnia-inducing in the less fun ways as well as the fun, giddy ways.

I always love the puzzle aspect of a move: visualizing a new space, picking colors, mentally mapping floorplans, researching exotic wallpapers at places like Flavor Paper. I even like the hanging pictures and the organizing cupboards and the imagining that from here on out, life will always be so streamlined (insert maniacal, forboding laughter here.)

As much as I love our current place, having been here for 5 1/2 years, there are things that have just been tinkered with to death, most of the problems having been solved, and it feels like there's less room for discovery and surprises.

So in between tossing, turning, nail biting, and compulsive reading of baby boards which I hate but can't resist, I am happily escaping into the visual, creative aspects of making this new place our home.


via Alvin Ailey

What a difference a day makes. I think my nervous energy yesterday paid off and this morning I am feeling more serene.

Yesterday, I managed to go to training, pick up paint chips, stock up on staples, clean the flat from top to bottom, secure a tenant, find a doula, schedule a second job interview, read half the internet, and go for dinner with a friend followed by a fabulous performance by Ailey II at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.

It was a gorgeous way to round out the day...something so elemental about great modern dance. I was joking to my friend Leigh that I was tempted to storm the stage. Imagine the headlines: "Rogue Pregnant Lady Leaps into the Act!" In my own mind I am as graceful as these dancers. In reality...not so much. Watching them move did make me long for the day when I have my own body back. I like being pregnant, but of course there are many positions you just can't contort yourself into when you are carrying a baby, and sometimes even a deep stretch feels a little off and unfamiliar.

I also find it curious that on some days I find accomplishing one small task to be completely daunting. And then others I am in a rhythm and seem to have unstoppable energy. I guess there's nothing quite like a deadline.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Whirling Dervish

New York, 2010

24 weeks today, which is what doctors usually consider to be the cutoff point for viability. Meaning if you go into labor at 24 weeks, you may very well have a micro-preemie who survives.

Of course, that is not what I want to happen. But suddenly dealing with that fact, plus the round number of 16. Weeks. Left. has me feeling a little loopy and ill-prepared.

That is 16 weekends to pack, move, unpack, accumulate baby supplies, take childbirth education course, read all those books about exactly what you do with a newborn, and find some time to breathe and relish our last few months of life as just-the-two-of-us. Oh. Also, I am interviewing for a job, considering childcare options if I get the job, and interviewing tenants for our current apartment. It feels like a lot of spinning plates.

It's not that I don't think it will all get done (or that disaster will strike if it doesn't, and if we have a newborn at home surrounded by boxes without having read a darn thing about what to do with him.) But I am by nature a planner, someone who likes doing certain things, especially in the domestic realm, by the book.

I find it incredibly surreal that there's, say, a 5 week window when baby could come. From 37 weeks to 42, give or take, when baby is considered to be full term (and a larger window if you do have a preemie.) Not knowing when this will all happen is kind of freaky to me. I get that it's the circle of life and so on, but it seems awfully tricky.

It feels a little like at any moment I could go into labor (I don't have any medical reason to believe this will happen at the drop of a's just the awareness that it could.) Prior to, say, 15 weeks, I was concerned with losing the baby. Now it's the realisation that no matter what, I will have to face labor.

I also worry that there could be some complication that would require bedrest and shorten those 16 already scary weeks of geting stuff done into, say, 4 weeks. So that's where my head is at today.

It is a beautiful day and I am sure my pregnancy mania will pass. But it comes in waves.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vagabonding: The NoMad Hotel

via NoMad Hotel

When I heard Jacques Garcia, who designed L'Hotel, my favorite hotel in Paris (and possibly the world) had a new project in New York, I was excited to check it out. This morning I popped into the new NoMad Hotel and was suitably taken with it. It's on a slightly odd stretch of Broadway, but one that's quickly becoming very cool thanks to spots like the Ace Hotel and Eataly. Boutiques like Opening Ceremony jostle for space with wig shops and bead wholesalers. But inside the NoMad you feel like you've stepped into an Oscar Wilde novel.

If I had guests visiting for a special occasion I'd definitely recommend it. I will also be staging every one of my meetings in its cafe or bar from here on out. Now, if only they could make a virgin martini.

Fashion Dilemma

via Alternative Apparel

I stopped into ABC Carpet and Home (my office away from home) today and picked up two jersey maxi dresses (the pale grey one, above, and another in charcoal) from Alternative Apparel. This week I had a few meetings with editors and found myself with very little to wear to a midtown office...I have plenty of things for slouching around in Brooklyn but in the city I often feel way too casual. So was glad to have found something to straddle the middle ground.


New York, 2012

We had a good doctor's appointment today. Baby is squirming away and is weighing in at 1 pound, 7 ounces, right on track for 23 weeks and 6 days. I am feeling fine, though a slew of appointments in the city yesterday made me think it's going to be quite something to haul myself around on the subway come July. It's not that I don't have the energy for the stairs, per se. It's more the hoards of aggressive people coming at me from every direction and the kind of griminess of the whole experience. I normally hate taking taxis during the day, but I might soon become a serious fan of the concept.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Brooklyn Boom

Williamsburg, 2012

Yesterday I picked up the May issue of Elle Decor and was amused to find a travel section on Brooklyn. I think it picks up on a lot of great places (like Vinegar Hill House, Isa, and Frankie's), but a visitor might be dismayed when they figure out just how large the borough is. I can't tell you how many times Euro tourists have stopped me on Bedford Avenue asking where they can find the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens or Brooklyn Museum. I feel sort of badly when I tell them it would be easier to go back into the city and then out again than to get there from Williamsburg (unless they took a car service.)

Note to non-New Yorkers: Park Slope is nowhere near Williamsburg, which is nowhere near Dumbo, which is nowhere near Ditmas Park (which is nowhere near Red Hook.) It takes as long for me to get to Cobble Hill as it does to, say, midtown West. This isn't a bad thing: all of these great neighborhoods make Brooklyn what it is. But I don't think you can "do" Brooklyn in a day, anymore than you could "do" Manhattan in a day (and Manhattan is much smaller.)

In any case, they're not the only magazine with Brooklyn on the brain. New York has an amusing article called "The Twee Party" about the artisanal food boom in the borough. Eh, laugh all you like, I love it here.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Prospect Park, 2012

We spent Sunday picnicking in Prospect Park with a group of friends. This is ground zero for New York babymaking.

I was joking to Will that Brooklyn is certainly hard at work repopulating itself. There were hundreds of children and hordes of pregnant women everywhere you looked. Just when I was thinking, hey, someone might let me cut the line for the bathroom at the Picnic House, I'd notice that there were 6 pregnant women ahead of me. Insanity. Bocce was played and the little people in our group ran around like banshees, happily playing in the dirt (who says urban life is without its outdoor pursuits.)

After packing up for the evening, we stumbled on a table at Al Di La in Park Slope, which I had been meaning to try for ages. Homemade pasta galore.

Friday, April 13, 2012

23 Weeks

23 weeks, 1 day

I have entered a new, deliriously tired, starving-all-the-time phase of the second trimester. I have started to gain weight (as expected) and am definitely beginning to feel a little large. I know I will look back on this post when I am 41 weeks and counting and laugh, but there you have it.

Lately, all I want to eat is breakfast. Toast, almond butter, honey, yoghurt, bananas, clementines, lattes. And nap. While I've been going strong this week, I think perhaps I've been going too strong. Where are  good Bravo reruns when you need them most?

22 Weeks

20 & 21 Weeks

19 Weeks

18 Weeks

17 Weeks

16 Weeks

15 Weeks

14 Weeks

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wanderlust: Saigon

Vietnam, 2011

Around this time last year, we visited a friend who lives in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam, with a fabulous detour to the island of Con Dao, one of those rare places that defies all description. Ahhh...the pho!

Looking back through our pictures, I'm reminded of some of the great little spots we discovered (and the lamps...we brought four of these guys home with us.)

L'Usine, a very chic cafe in Saigon's colonial district.

Six Senses Con Dao, a dreamy resort on Con Dao.

Cuc Gach Cuan, a stellar, tucked away restaurant we'd have had zero hope of finding without our gracious hosts.

The Refinery, a French-colonial cafe for wine and nibbles.

Rebel Rebel

Paris, 2010

Maybe it's because I live where I live, but I haven't experienced much criticism for what I eat or imbibe while pregnant. If anything, people seem to be coaxing me to bend the rules. "What's the big deal about lunch meat/charcuterie/cheese/sushi/one glass of wine?" they say. And I mostly agree (even if I subsequently ignore them and generally do as my doctor tells me.) Interestingly enough, the only times I've been chided were in the Virgin Islands, when one waitress suggested I shouldn't have coffee, and another woman told me I shouldn't be carrying my carry on bag myself.

My big rebellions so far? Caffeine and peanut butter (and maybe an inch of wine a few times a week with a meal.) My one latte or earl grey tea a day is still within the bounds of recommendations, and cutting it out absolutely seems extreme. Some people say expecting mothers should skip peanut butter to avoid allergies in their children, but there's no history of major allergies in either of our families and I feel like I could use the protein. 

Still, although I mostly abide by the guidelines I'm given, I do think fear over every little chemical is terrible for my emotional state. Just when I am feeling good that I, say, don't wear makeup (which may contain chemicals that can be harmful to fetuses), I remember that I live in a huge metropolis surrounded by construction, pollution, and who knows what else and have a freak out about it all. My computer is probably zapping me with toxic waves as we speak. Overthinking it is paralyzing. 

This train of thought was a little worse for me in the first trimester, when pregnancy felt so new. Now I feel a little more confident in my instincts. No, I'm not going to eat rare street meat. But nor am I going to look at every meal (or every possibly toxic breath I take) as a hurdle.

P.S. Marie Baca wrote an interesting piece on the subject of her pregnancy rebellion in Salon. I especially liked this quote from the comments on the story: "People don't realize that it's hurting us and our children to look at life as a series of accidents that you can avoid if you just plan enough ahead and follow a certain list of rules. Life is dangerous and filled with risk, there are some reasonable things we can do to minimize some risks and there are times where we just need to lead our lives and see what happens."

The Lady

by Tom Wright, via

So it's not all maternal anxiety and nursery planning around these parts. On Tuesday evening I attended a Newsweek/Daily Beast screening of The Lady, a new film by Luc Besson about the life of Aung San Suu Kyi. Aside from snippets in the news, I'm embarrassed to say how few details of this story I knew.

Luc Besson travelled to Burma as a tourist and filmed some jaw-dropping footage of Burma's landscapes for The Lady (much of the rest of the movie was filmed in Thailand.) In my trips to Thailand and Laos I've been quite close to the Burmese border (but still worlds away.) I'd love to see the temples of Bagan in person one day...hopefully in a Burma that's truly democratic.

Stuff I Like

via Matt Bernson 
Matt Bernson Delphine Sandal
Last night I had the pleasure of celebrating the opening of our friend Matt Bernson's brand new boutique on Harrison Street in Tribeca. Pretty people, lovely shoes, and canapes galore. Matt and his wife Lindsay are always heading off somewhere wonderful (Bali, Brazil, Montauk, the south of France) idea-hunting, and the collections reflect that feeling. I also had my eye on some of the Jago scarves.
via Jago

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Wall

Williamsburg, 2012

Every now and then I feel so good I sort of forget that I am pregnant, wind up staying up way past my bedtime, saying yes to too many things, planning back to back adventures...and then it hits me.

A huge wall of exhaustion that usually also makes me a little down and emotional and gets me worrying about all sorts of things I can't control. Gloomy weather? Growth spurt? Who knows, but I am can-barely-keep-my eyes-open-on-the-sidewalk tired and wobbly this afternoon. So, looks like the 2 hour nap might be back, at least for today.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

11211 Love

Toby's Estate, Williamsburg, 2012

I should be using my second trimester energy to go on some kind of frenzied nesting spree, clearing out drawers and closets that will need to be tackled (um, why do we own multiple cat leashes?) before we move.

Instead, I've been skulking around local spots like Toby's Estate, consuming more grilled cheese (with cornichons!), people watching, and reading Triumph of the City, which is great, assuming you are a cityphile.

I also just finished Crawling: A Father's First Year, which I bought as a gift for Will at McNally Jackson, one of my favorite New York bookstores. It's Elisha Cooper's memoir of the first year of his daughter's life, and it's a funny, poignant, cool peer into the male psyche on what it feels like to become a dad. A lot of it is based in Berkeley, which seems to have a great deal in common with Williamsburg. I guess powering through books is as good a use of my time as any?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...