Saturday, September 29, 2012


Williamsburg, 2012

Today we had a very autumnal day...I went to the farmer's market this morning to pick up quiches for our roof picnic tomorrow and then we went to Sprout to get some fresh herbs for the terrace. Will has been working on our garden plot even though it's a bit late in the season to grow much. He took Axel down to the green roof while I napped (and they weeded our plot.) I've also been trolling Etsy for cute baby Halloween costumes...thank goodness there are crafty people out there so that I don't have to learn how to sew a felt ladybug number.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Williamsburg, Axel, 2012

A good day...boot camp, an espresso milkshake at Milk Bar, grocery shopping, a nap...

And now the boy is sleeping and we just finished a great skillet-made pizza with fresh basil and are curled up watching Revolution. It pretty much feels like our old Friday nights, except exponentially better. I guess it feels familiar because we weren't exactly out raving before we had a baby. Our life is organized in such a way that nights like this are pretty appealing.

Rainy Friday

Axel, 2012

I feel like we've had a few long weeks of racing from this to that, so it's kind of a pleasure to wake up to the sound of rain on the windows. To celebrate the gloomy weather, Axel is sporting his goldfish pjs, which I bought at Arthur in Paris a few years back as a gift for our nephew Leo...long before we had a baby (but when I couldn't resist shopping for one.) It's surreal and fun to see our little boy wearing it as a hand me down.

Other than that, we're enjoying the quiet afternoon and planning for a night in.

The good news is that the babe seems to have had something of a sleep breakthrough this week. I don't know if it's that he's hit 11 pounds (um, he's a giant...) and is just ready to sleep a little longer at night or if putting him in his crib had something to do with it.

Either way, instead of waking every 2 hours throughout the night, once we put Axel in his own room to sleep he slept from 8 'til 12, 12:30ish 'til 5, and 5 'til 8. For two nights running. Let me tell you, it's amazing. I really do miss having him in the bassinet but I think I'll be able to think a little more clearly with some good chunks of sleep under my belt.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Williamsburg, 2012

And by multitasking, I mean going to Baby Boot Camp, getting a desperately needed haircut and highlights at Tommy Guns, and meeting the ladies at Spritzenhaus. Lunge, Push Up, Fry, Rinse, Repeat. We are now passing the evening seeing if Axel will sleep in his crib while stalking him on the baby video monitor. He keeps spitting out his pacifier and squeaking in fury. I think it's just been a lot of excitement for one day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Axel, Williamsburg, 2012

Axel and I had an action packed few days while Will was away (he is now home, thank goodness.) It was actually less daunting than I had thought it might be, largely because I was busy with friends and had some help on Monday from a prospective new nanny. I mailed out our birth announcements, went to Baby Boot Camp, and had dinner with Axel's godparents.

Getting back into shape has been...slow going. Am sort of running on empty lately so the prospect of lunges and leg lifts isn't so tempting. Usually the thing that gets me out of bed is the promise of a very hot shower, strong coffee, and a rambling walk. But as I've kind of stalled with the weight loss and am feeling like I've lost a ton of strength I am trying to rise to the occasion.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Seven Weeks Old

Axel, 2012

Aside from the fact that our nights seem to be getting harder and not easier, things are going pretty well around here. Axel is a pretty smiley little fellow these days, and it's the perfect temperature for walks down to the water and for lying on the grass and chilling. Right now we are working on naps in his crib and I'm doing my best to differentiate between nighttime hunger cries and I-just-wanna-hang-out-and-keep-everybody-awake-cries. It's harder done than said to morph into one of those just-the-right-amount-of-aloof French parents, I'm finding.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Axel, 2012

Am curled up watching the Emmys with my eyes drooping. The weekend was quite something.

A date with the husband at Isa on Friday night, and a brief trip to Rhode Island and Connecticut where we stayed at the very cute Shelter Harbor Inn on Saturday. I caught up with some old friends at a bachelorette party that evening while Will and Axel enjoyed a manly dinner of steak and oysters (and milk.) They make a good pair.

After our trip up to Maine we were relative pros this time around and managed not to make the car look like a gypsy caravan.

On the way home we stopped in Essex for a visit with family and took a picture of Axel by his great great grandfather's plaque (commemorating his work in preserving the village waterfront.)

And tonight, after maybe an hour's turnaround at home, Will flew off to California for a business trip while I attended a party with my neighbors and a condo board meeting. I would say I'll sleep like a baby tonight, but I mean that in sense that I'll sleep like a baby who doesn't sleep all that much.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Williamsburg, 2012

Summer seems to be on its way out in Brooklyn. So much so that today, which has been gorgeous, was the first day I felt caught short by not having a hat for Axel. I improvised with his MC Hammer pants at the mothers' meet up in the park this morning.

I am feeling pretty good today as last night Axel slept his very first 6 hour stretch.

It was from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. so it didn't help us all that much, especially when one of the cats found a toy rattle and proceeded to hunt it under our bed at 11 p.m., but it was amazing nonetheless since it proves that it can be done.

If only I could recreate that every night. The puzzling part is that for the past several weeks I've been waking Axel up before I go to bed (after another Homeland marathon) in the hopes that a dream feed will allow us all a longer stretch of sleep.

The first time I skipped that feed, he slept much longer. So now I am not sure what to believe. Was it a fluke? Let's hope not, shall we?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Axel, 2012

It's funny. If you had asked me five or four or five weeks ago if I was getting attached to Axel, I would have said yes, without a doubt. But now it feels like things are on a whole new level. If I've had a busy weekend, I really crave one on one time with him. I like his company and miss him like crazy when he's asleep (I kind of want to poke him to wake him up and play, but usually am able to resist.)

He's still eating every two hours at night and so a ton of work, but he's getting much more communicative during the day time. And so as opportunities for freelance projects come in I'm increasingly torn. I feel like there's no perfect time to go back to work. Not that he wouldn't be just fine, but I'm pretty sure I'd be a wreck. Less from worry than a sense that I'd be missing out on getting to know this little person.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Six Weeks Old

Axel, 2012

I feel like Axel is an old salt! Six weeks? How did that happen? Even he looks skeptical.

Meanwhile, how did I become a 34 year old mother? That was what I was thinking last night as we let the babysitter in. It was like, wait a second, aren't I the babysitter? It brought back such memories of being a teenager or young twentysomething, looking after someone else's kids (and rooting through their fridge.) What happened to the last 15 or 20 years and where the heck did this baby come from?

In any case, it was more of a milestone for us than it was for Axel (who slept through most of it)...we went out with Will's parents to The Ides and Cafe Mogador and had a really lovely evening knowing he was in very capable hands.

Axel meanwhile has been getting bigger and more expressive by the day.

We celebrated his "birthday" with a walk on the Highline and had lunch at The Green Table. And now, after a weekend of family visiting I am ready for a looong nap.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


New York, 2012

It's been a gorgeous fall weekend here, full of walks around Williamsburg and Dumbo, french toast at Prime Meats, al fresco guacamole at La Esquina, and balcony BBQ-ing.

Oh, and farm animal onesies.

I love how all of New York comes out of the woodwork in weather like this. At the Brooklyn Bridge Park this morning we saw (in no particular order) two Latina brides having their wedding portraits done, competing rap video shoots, a sulky model Vogue-ing it, and about 459 $3000 purebred dogs. What a place to grow up.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The New Normal

Axel, 2012

Well, we've survived our first full week solo since Will's gone back to work. There was one point on Tuesday when Axel was very screamy and I thought ZOMG-cart-me-off-to-the-loony-bin. But since then it's been pretty smooth sailing.

I have to say through much of my pregnancy I didn't see what the big deal was. I mean, I felt pretty good all along and I was sick of all the naysaying about how miserable it would all be.

Actually having the baby? It's both harder and easier than I thought it would be. Depends on what time of day you ask me. I usually feel pretty positive about life with a newborn. But in full disclosure I'd say that in comparison to pregnancy, the first month postpartum kind of kicked my ass.

I think part of it is that I couldn't quite believe how often a new baby needs to eat (and how inefficiently they do so) and how little I would sleep at night. On both counts I was initially so incredulous that I wound up second guessing myself. He can't be hungry again, maybe it's gas? What did I do wrong that screwed up his sleep schedule? He must be unhappy he's making weird noises and thrashing around. How can I fix it? Etc. Etc. Your adult brain wants to solve all the problems when in fact, some of it is totally normal newborn behavior that won't be "solved" until the newborn grows out of it.

It's definitely taken a month to wrap my head around "normal newborn behavior."

And while I've occasionally felt beaten up by the demands of it all, I'm also honestly loving the time we have together at home. Our little outings to the cheese shop or pilates or the park are all kind of sweet, with Axel grunting away like a truffle hunting piglet along the way. I am definitely thrilled when I see Will walk through the door ready to take the bambino off my hands, but most of the time, now that I'm not fighting it (or trying to rationalize every last thing) it feels...kind of normal.


via Jami Saunders
via the L Magazine

My mom is fond of saying that when I was a baby, I looked like Winston Churchill. Axel's infant doppelganger? Definitely character actor Wallace Shawn. Especially when he looks worried, or quizzical. They even have the same haircut, since baby A. seems to be going bald on the top of his head but still has a significant ring of silky hair in the back.

Wuv and Mawidge, anyone?

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Williamsburg, 2012

It's gorgeous out and we've been doing a lot of walking down to the waterfront, through McCarren Park, to Greenpoint for fresh air and donuts from Peter Pan. Axel loves to sleep on the go in his stroller,  when the music is blasting in a busy bistro, or when other people are watching.

When it's the two of us at home in the peace and quiet (just when I start thinking about a nap of my own or try to, say, make a sandwich), he's wide awake and transforms into Starvy McFussypants.

On the plus side, this means I have a ton of mobility and don't feel cooped up at home. On the not-so-plus-side, I do a lot of zombielike walking around the neighborhood pointing my camera at various things that amuse me.

Now, our pediatrician, who happens to be French, is a big booster for early sleep training. Like let-them-cry-it-out-at-two-months-old and never look back sleep training. But as we're still 2 weeks away from that milestone, we're still really winging it. But sleep, that's pretty much my favorite topic of conversation at the moment. I am trying to start a baby sleep propaganda campaign.

Axel! Sleep! At night! It's better than milk and screaming, I swear.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

8 Days (Seems Like a Loooong Time Ago)

Axel at 8 Days by Jami Saunders Photography

In the delirium of our first days at home with Axel, I'm really glad we made the decision to have some professional photos taken. He looks like a little gnome prince on his silky sheepskin! We just got the DVD and couldn't be more thrilled.

Jami Saunders came well equipped with props and a lot of patience and I'd highly recommend her to all Brooklyn mamas. I can hardly believe he's gained at least 3 pounds since these images were captured. Am sure it will be the first of many photo shoots to come.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bottle Drama

Williamsburg, 2012

So lately I've been pumping one bottle a day for Will to give Axel at around 11 p.m. so that I can get a little physical break from being the babe's sole food source. Even if I'm not asleep at the time, I feel like it's nice bonding time for Will and the little guy, especially when he's been at work all day. And it gives me hope that Axel will do well switching from breast to bottle and back again when we have sitters down the line.

It's been going pretty well so far.

Um, until last night.

I blithely went off to bed leaving Will with a 4 oz. bottle in the fridge. About forty minutes later, I hear some angry screeching from the living room. Shortly thereafter, Will comes into the bedroom holding our soaking wet and very upset son. Turns out I had put the nipple on incorrectly and half of the bottle had poured out all over the baby leaving him both sticky and starving. We took an emergency midnight bath with drowned rat Axel furrowing his brow and looking at me like "You have got to be kidding me, people!"

Anyway, we survived that little parenting fail. But it has me thinking about the perils of breastfeeding and about pumping in general.

We've had a relatively easy time on both counts, but I will say it sometimes feels claustrophobic to be your child's only source of nutrition. I was reading this blog post and could absolutely relate. Even though the pump is artificial and fairly clinical, it does give you a great sense of freedom (assuming you don't go and dump that freedom on your child's head.)

There's been a lot of talk lately about a breastfeeding backlash (like this Observer article.) It's true, in New York at least, even thinking about using formula, like once in an emergency, makes you feel like you're contemplating feeding your kid Draino. There's just so much guilt and if, say, you can't breastfeed, you must feel like the target of a lot of judgment. Obviously breastfeeding is preferable (and I'm a big proponent.) But it's rough that moms feel so much guilt over pumping for convenience's sake or offering formula even in rare instances. My pediatrician had to remind me the other day that it's not, you know, poison!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Five Weeks Old: Baby Jail

Axel, 2012

After a loooong night last night, Axel and I ventured into Manhattan today for my 6 week postpartum check up (which happened a week early.) He did great in the baby carrier and slept every time we got on the subway. I got the all clear to work out and have my first Baby Boot Camp class tomorrow.

After a little walking tour of Soho, we went to visit Will at work where baby A. got plenty of attention.

The afternoon was all about Baby Jail, aka, getting used to his new room and crib. Though we plan on keeping Axel in our room for the foreseeable future, I am hoping to get him used to napping in his room so the transition, and, er, sleep training, is easier down the line.

Williamsburg, 2012

Other than that, he's getting more and more demanding of attention, which means lots of interaction and fewer returned phone calls. I got a big smile today though, which made it all worthwhile.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Nursery Update

Williamsburg, 2012

We still have a bit to go on the nursery but this weekend we made some good progress. Next steps? A rug and some curtains.
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