Thursday, May 31, 2012

Check Up

New York, 2012

Will left bright and early this morning for a wedding in Los Angeles. I am really sad to be missing out on the adventure but with so much going on this summer, two 6-hour flights in four days seemed like a lot to add to the mix. I have no doubts that I could have pulled it off, but a few weeks ago we just decided he should go solo this time. My husband is basically a professional wedding guest so I have no doubt he will have a blast.

I then headed to one of my routine doctor's appointments. 30 Weeks! From now until 36 weeks they are every 2 weeks, and after that, they are every week.

My doctor's office is a group practice, and so today I met a new doctor I really liked and we chatted quite a bit about my hospital visit. She said that 40% of the women who use our practice deliver naturally, which was part of what drew her to it. I haven't ruled out an epidural but that's not my preference, and I was glad that she said that they really don't push it if you don't want one.

It's amazing what a difference a doctor's demeanor makes to your level of confidence in this whole process.

Afterwards, I walked a mile in the sunshine to the L train and headed home for one of my freelance sandwiches.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Istanbul, 2011

So it's hard to describe what it feels like to be pregnant.

I mean, I could bore you with how it feels, physically, but that's not really what I mean.

It's a really strong pull to meet this little person who is using my internal organs as his punching bags.

It's exciting, and such a transformative experience that the only thing I can liken it to is the weeks before leaving home for college, when you know this new life is ahead of you and have no capacity to picture it.

Or it's like when you are very young and someone says the word 'husband' and you have this vague image in your mind of what that word might mean to you someday, but you cannot see his face. Maybe he'll have a beard, you think.

Carrying another human being, in your body, is a bit like trying to picture that face, all those years ago.

It's like waking up one day and being told that blue is actually green.

You have conversations, but it's almost like they're in another language. You lose the thread of them because you can't unremember for even a second, that another person (a person who will become one of the most important people in your world but who is as of now still a stranger/alien) has colonized your body. And he is kicking you. From the inside.

It is not that you are obsessed with the baby, or babies, or pregnancy, or motherhood. You don't want to become the walking cliche. You have all these other things that you are passionate about.

But it's like you are standing in the middle of the stream, neck deep, maybe balancing on one leg, just trying not to get pulled under, and someone is quizzing you about world events. Like, say, Syria or the social security conundrum. But all you can think to reply is 'Anyone notice that I am up to my neck in the middle of this stream?' as they look at you like you're becoming very boring and self-centered.

Does this make any sense?

What I am trying to say, I suppose, is that in the thick of all this gestating and future-imagining, I just don't feel like...myself.

I go to leap up from the couch and find I have no core strength to speak of. I feel restless, and want to go for a five mile walk, but run out of steam after twenty minutes. Things don't taste the same, and even my emotions seem kind of, well, tampered with, as if I'm being pulled in a multitude of directions by invisible strings. I can't really predict my reactions to anything, and feel like I know myself less than before.

I look around at other pregnant ladies, and it seems totally insane that this is such a universal human experience. It's like being told that the world is, in fact, flat.

And so I look forward to meeting the baby. But also to having my body (and brain) back. To myself. To being alone in my own skin.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

And the Heat Rolls In...

New York, 2012

Well, we packed a lot into the first weekend of summer (I count Memorial Day, equinox or not.)

A few highlights?

- Friday night we checked out the new roof top bar at the Wythe Hotel, The Ides. It was insanely muggy, but on a cooler night it would be the perfect spot for imbibing with a backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. We could see our new home from the bar as well, which is always fun. Drinks were followed by risotto at home with some friends.

- Saturday was a full day of back to back parties. A birthday brunch in Chelsea and a housewarming in Ditmas Park that stretched 'til late. Will got some practice with baby-soothing care of our friends' 5 month old. Doesn't she look insanely comfortable?

I was also really impressed to see another friend out and about at the party with her 2 week old daughter. So tiny! But she was more than fine sleeping away in a guest room, and I got to feed her. A lot of people give you the impression that you will be on total lockdown with a newborn, and I was happy to see that this doesn't always have to be the case. Her mama (who ahem, gave birth totally naturally) was looking relaxed and supping wine (and they were some of the last to leave.)

- On Sunday, we took a day trip up to Beacon, New York, a small town on the Hudson River. Had lunch at Homespun Foods, ice cream at the Beacon Creamery, and visited the Dia:Beacon. The Richard Serra and Sol Lewitt rooms were incredible, and the space itself is well worth the visit.

- The temperature struck 92 degrees on Monday and we were contemplating a visit to the Red Hook Pool or Fort Tilden Beach. When a friend invited us out on a boat trip, we happily switched gears (the cooler  and towels were already packed!) We started at the World's Fair Marina in Queens, which takes you right by JFK, where you can see the planes take off from about 50 feet away. We cruised up to Douglaston, where the guys and kids had a wonderful time tubing and horsing about in the water. I took it easy, but it was lovely to get out on the water and see New York from a different angle.

We survived intense socializing, searing heat, and toddlers on boats. Let the June and July madness begin!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Long Weekend

Vinalhaven Island, Maine, 2011

We are sticking it out in NYC this weekend for adventures in packing! Hope you are going somewhere wonderful (a taste of our Maine weekends past to inspire you...)

New Harbor, Maine, 2011
North Haven Island, Maine, 2010
South Bristol, Maine, 2010
Christmas Cove, Maine, 2009
Christmas Cove, Maine, 2011


Cruz Yellow Stroller via Uppa Baby

Our stroller has arrived!

We actually bought this second hand from our new tenant, as she wanted something that would better navigate the stairs, while we are moving into a building with an elevator.

I like the yellow color and I'm quite happy to not have to do all the research myself. It has all the bells and whistles (cup holder, rain canopy, infant insert etc. etc.) Of course, Will's tech obsessions mean he was pretty enthused about the Origami, but it seemed like overkill to me (from both a price and a size p.o.v.) Running lights? Not sure that's totally a requirement.

29 Weeks

29 weeks, 1 day

29 Weeks! The latest?

I have gained 10 pounds. I am mostly fine with this, and fine with my body changing, until I see an unflattering photo, and then I am enormously crabby. A friend and I always joke that we suffer from positive body dysmorphia, meaning that 99% of the time we think we look utterly gorgeous, and then are puzzled and set adrift when the zipper does not zip or the reflection in a window suggests anything otherwise.

Word to the wise. Do not send a pregnant lady a photo of herself (or tag her in said photo on Facebook) unless you are absolutely, 150% sure that you have never seen her look better.

We have taken to calling the hospital where I will have the baby "the Victorian insane asylum." I realize this is not very yogi-like and I have probably just had my membership in the sacred circle of earthy Brooklyn mamas revoked. But so be it. Gallows humor seems to be getting us through the day. Namaste.

I read a story of an amazing, awe-inspiring, well lit natural childbirth in a bathtub, and felt a bit like I was trying to decipher ancient hieroglyphics. I am certain that this is possible. I am just vaguely aware that this may not be my experience. And that that's okay too.

11 weeks to go, and the baby seems to be rearing to go. You sometimes hear people liken a baby moving to various forms of marshal arts. To me, it feels like he is rattling his cage, starting to get ready for the world.

So that's our's been muggy and damp and rainy all week in New York, but it's better than oppressive heat, I suppose. I can't believe that next week will mark 30 weeks and that this mole-like new creature is almost here with us. I've been reading Anne Enright's Making Babies, which is hilarious and spot on in so many ways. And I skipped over 28 weeks, because, well, I just felt like it.

27 Weeks

26 Weeks

25 Weeks

24 Weeks

23 Weeks

22 Weeks

20 & 21 Weeks

19 Weeks

18 Weeks

17 Weeks

16 Weeks

15 Weeks

14 Weeks

Thursday, May 24, 2012



So we had a sort of tragicomic visit to our hospital last night to tour the labor and delivery unit. For some reason I had imagined that the tour would be really reassuring. You know: a cute nursery jam-packed with peach-fuzzy newborns and those "It's a Boy!" balloons everywhere. Orderly lists of things to pack and so on.

Instead, well, we got off on the wrong foot, somehow.

Will got stuck on the subway, and so was late. So I was there frantically texting him and worried that somehow he wouldn't be able to get into labor and delivery once the tour had begun. So I guess I was on edge and not in my most zen state going into it.

Then, as soon as the doors to the unit opened, we were met by a woman in labor (behind closed doors, but even so) screaming bloody murder. I mean, it sounded like a horror film. This was not the kind of intense moaning I've heard before on TLC or in the Business of Being Born. This was really unsettling.

The nurse who was leading the tour said something like "That's what natural childbirth sounds like," and seemed mostly unfazed. But at one point even she remarked that she hadn't heard anyone scream like that when a tour was happening. "We have an 80% epidural rate here," she explained. So between the tardy husband and the screaming, by the time we got to the C-section recovery area, I was really really rattled. I think I just don't especially like hospitals to begin with and so the whole thing felt very alien.

I guess I am feeling extremely unprepared for labor. I'm hoping that my childbirth class, which starts in a few weeks, will do a bit to assuage some of my worries, but, well, yikes. It's going to take a while to get that screaming out of my brain.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gear (and Girls)

Kate Quinn Organics

I am doing my best to stay disciplined about buying things for baby, given that my employment status remains uncertain. But sometimes resistance is futile.

I popped into Area Kids this morning for some strict window shopping, and left with these two very cute numbers from Kate Quinn Organics. Eh, baby needs to be clothed, right? I know that 7-9 pounds is not very large (about the size of our small grey cat, as a matter of fact), but these 0-3 month things still seem unfathomably small. I was joking to Will that it's so weird to think that our little baby boy will at some point be a 180+ pound man. It just seems so implausible.

Anyway, lots of things in a holding pattern for us these days. Move date uncertain, job status uncertain. It's left me irritated these last few weeks, which is part of the reason I haven't been posting much. No one wants to hear my grumpy musings. Anyway, that grumpiness is gradually shifting to bemused shrugging. Clearly, so much in life is beyond my control. I am trying to be Buddha-like about it all.

The odd thing is that, after meeting approximately one million people at this magazine, I have had complete radio silence from them for two weeks. I know that this could mean any number of things. They could be interviewing other people, working out budgets, or, well, just not that into me. Which is fine. But so far my very polite follow up emails have gone unanswered and I am starting to feel a little adrift. Would it be so hard to send me a "Sorry, kiddo?" email? It's quite mysterious and obviously I am not getting any less pregnant as the days pass.

Things were going so well I had just about wrapped my head around the idea of being a working mom. I was dutifully researching pumping at work and nannies and so on. But if there's anything pregnancy has taught me it's that as soon as you get used to an idea, you are onto the next challenge. So I am adapting and working on picturing being at home with baby for awhile.

Last night, Will and I caught up on the last 3 or 4 episodes of Girls, and it really resonated. It reminds me so much of being 23 or 24 in the city. People have blasted the characters and called them narcissistic and pretentious and homogenous, but, well, that pretty much describes me and my roommates circa 2004.

I can most definitely relate to the feeling of being in New York, on the cusp of all of these big things, screwing things up along the way, sometimes getting it right.

Us, Williamsburg, 2004

Williamsburg, 2004
Maine, 2004

And yeah, at 33 and a mother to be, I guess my life these days looks a lot more together than it did back then. But I still feel a lot like that opinionated, ambitious, idealistic, cocky, hedonistic 20-something.

And so a lot of the scenes in Girls just make me laugh. Like the one where Lena Dunham, who I am obsessed with, goes for a job interview and makes a date rape joke, thinking she and the interviewer are on the same wavelength.

When I was first in New York and interviewing for jobs, I'd often tell people the truth, that in 5 years I didn't want to be doing anything that resembled the job on offer; that I wanted to be a travel writer.

Which leads me to wonder...was it something I said?

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Conversation

via The Conversation

Okay, so I haven't been completely inert.

I know I am late to the party but I've really been enjoying The Conversation, with Amanda de Cadenet. First of all, I would like Amanda to come over for tea and a chat. She's just the right mix of new age-y and no bullshit for my liking.

You can watch her interviews on topics like motherhood, sex, finances, and more online, and the her website has some pretty thoughtful posts (like this one, this one, and this one) as well.

Perfect rainy day fodder.

Rainy Monday

Williamsburg, 2012

It's monsoon season in Brooklyn.

Nope, I haven't fallen down the rabbit hole, but I haven't had all that much to say lately. Perhaps my creative energies have been in quasi-hibernation. It's not exactly a sensation of 'I'm tired.' It's more like 'I can't really be arsed to engage in anything that doesn't directly involve me, Will, or bambino.' I guess you could describe it as a turning inwards? Sometimes, when people are speaking, I find myself kind of spacing out.

I am 28 weeks and 4 days along (no bump photo as yet, must heckle Will tomorrow a.m.) and while I have been feeling mostly fine, mentally I am just...elsewhere.

That whole Time attachment parenting cover brouhahah? I'd normally get all riled up about it one way or another, but my reaction was basically one big shrug. Who knows why parents do what they do and surely they are just doing their best, you know? Making it political just seems like misdirected energy.

That said, I've been keeping myself amused, more or less. I was filling boxes yesterday and came across some of Will's childhood projects including an autobiography he wrote when he was six. It includes extensive extracts on infant development from the old Encyclopedia Britannica, and that had me in hysterics. Instead of talking about his own childhood, Will was (even then) wearing his science hat and investigating biological processes. So funny.

I also got a kick out of a little art exhibit at our local coffee shop by the preschoolers in the neighborhood. I especially like the scary sewn critters and the jelly fish mural.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


New York, 2012

The city has been gloomy and muggy this week, to match my mood. I think I've just been exhausted and am finding simple tasks like cleaning the flat or holding coherent conversations to be daunting. It's almost like a return to the first trimester in that a trip to the mailbox seems like a great accomplishment, after which I need to recover with multiple episodes of Interior Therapy and gallons of water.

I guess it's the third trimester creeping up on me. Am feeling increasingly anti-social and a bit more uncomfortable. Whereas time was racing by about a month ago, it's starting to grind to a halt. 12 weeks to go seems like a loooong time.

But the good news is that baby is doing just dandy (sucking up all my superpowers in the process.) At our checkup today he was weighing in at 2 pounds, 12 ounces, so nearly twice the size he was at 24 weeks. He is hanging upside down like a bat with his feet by his face. A future yogi!  Doesn't look very comfortable to me but what do I know about fetuses.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Baby Shower Weekend

Williamsburg, 2012

A whirlwind weekend filled with lots of friends, delicious food, and our lovely baby shower.

Our nearest  and dearest clearly know us well. Not a weird baby shower game or Fisher Price battery-operated noise-maker in sight. Feeling very grateful, more prepared for baby's arrival, and happily exhausted. Many thanks to all who made is to special!

Friday, May 11, 2012

27 Weeks

27 weeks, 1 day

Depending on who you ask, I am either at the very beginning of the third trimester, or about to be. This is mind boggling!

The other day, someone was asking me about how it felt to be pregnant.

Everyone seemed to be telling me I'd feel really uncomfortable and unwieldy and basically miserable the whole time. So far, that hasn't been my experience at all.

I'd say that the biggest shift has been that I can't really push myself past a certain point, whether it's walking another 10 blocks at the end of a long walk, or socializing for another 45 minutes at the end of a fun dinner party. It's not that I am thinking I-feel-godawful. It's more that I'm aware that my body is trying to do something pretty important and so sometimes I need to opt out, say no, and put my feet up if I feel like it. I'd say there's a big distinction between that and feeling miserable.

I do know that everyone's experience of pregnancy is different. I've been lucky. My morning sickness was never much more than waves of nausea that made me crave bland foods like toast and bananas. I've been free to take lots of naps and we do a lot of socializing at home, where I can wear my yoga pants and curl up on the sofa while I see friends. Will I be uncomfortable in 2 months time? Probably?

But based on my experiences so far I'm thinking it won't be quite as terrible as people have warned me it could be.

26 Weeks

25 Weeks

24 Weeks

23 Weeks

22 Weeks

20 & 21 Weeks

19 Weeks

18 Weeks

17 Weeks

16 Weeks

15 Weeks

14 Weeks

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Prague, 2011

In order to make life seem a little less manic, I've been manically cleaning house and clearing out.

Today I also went on a mission to unsubscribe from about a gazillion online newsletters. Sorry Daily Candy, Gap, Vera Wang, Brooklyn Public Library, the New Yorker,, you are crowding my brain. I do not want your deals, promotions, or tips for living a fuller life. Since I have the terrible habit of reading my email in bed, I'd prefer to get messages from real live humans rather than customer relations robots.

I will confess I've let Williams Sonoma slip through the cracks just in case there's some insane 90% off deal on artisanal bread boards. I mean, you never know when that's going to be critical.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Well Hello There

Williamsburg, 2012

The blog posts have been scant lately, I know.

I've been busy bustling about the city. Yesterday I had a doctor's checkup and my gestational diabetes screening. Seems a little odd to purposefully mess with your glucose levels to that extent (sorry baby, blech, that drink was awful!) but hopefully I will get the all clear very soon and won't have to do any further tests.

All is well chez uterus is measuring on target for 27 weeks and the heartbeat was great. I have another ultrasound next Wednesday so we will be able to see what the little guy is up to in there then. He has been doing plenty of high kicks (or punches?) Not quite sure.

Will and I have been getting very excited for his arrival and can hardly believe that my due date is three months from today. This weekend we are celebrating with dueling baby showers. Will is having a boozy brunch out while the gals celebrate at home. Then the boys will be joining us for gifts and more merriment. When plans were first afoot, I could tell that Will wanted to be involved and I am glad he will be. After all, bambino is a joint production and we should both get to celebrate.

Will says that with each passing day he feels more and more prepared and I have to agree. I guess that's all part of the process that is pregnancy.

Monday, May 7, 2012


The Meows

A very serious family portrait (featuring the usually elusive Dustskulker in the foreground.)

Bellwether, via

We had a lovely, busy weekend. Indian food on Friday night, out of town guests on Saturday, a Cinqo de Mayo party, lunch at La Esquina, dinner at Bellwether. Walks, full moons, flea markets, cheese platters, and poking into Mini Jake to check out all the very mod baby things.

Sunday was one of the prettiest spring days of the year so far and Williamsburg was packed with people enjoying the blue skies. The line for the East River ferry was insane! The cats sat on our (tiny) balcony and looked at bugs and birds while their whiskers and ears twitched away. I can't wait for them (and us) to have some proper outdoor space to bask in the sun.

Friday, May 4, 2012

26 Weeks

26 weeks, 1 day

Off for a day of looking at apartments for a friend... I managed to sleep through the night last night and was quite proud at myself for waking up at 7 because it was so 'late.'

To date I've gained about 7 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, which seems fine to me. Aside from the sleep issues and the hips I feel pretty great. Maybe a little silly/awkward posing for these photos, but that's about it.

Only 14 weeks to go!

25 Weeks

24 Weeks

23 Weeks

22 Weeks

20 & 21 Weeks

19 Weeks

18 Weeks

17 Weeks

16 Weeks

15 Weeks

14 Weeks

11211 Love

On Wednesday I stopped into the newly opened Wythe Hotel for a snoop around. The restaurant, Reynard's, looks like a lovely, airy spot for power lunching and coffee drinking, while the lobby is pared down industrial chic at its best. The gizmos on the ceiling are parts of a transport system from when the building was a barrel-making factory for the nearby shipyards.

Am so glad to have this addition to the neighborhood. For out-of-towners who want to experience New York like a local, I think the Wythe would be a perfect pick. Tourists have been exploring Williamsburg for years, but I think it makes perfect sense to sleep here as well (instead of decamping back to some grim, expensive hotel in midtown.) Apparently rooms start at $175, which is pretty stellar for New York.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...