Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday Mayhem

Williamsburg, 2012

Somehow, it just dawned on me that tomorrow is December and we leave for the holidays in England and Scotland in just 12 days. This is sort of blowing my tiny mind.

We are throwing a Christmas party next weekend and have a zillion things to take care of before we go. Shopping, organizing, card mailing, mentally preparing for our first overseas trip with the baby and making sure things at home are ship shape for our three week long absence. It's mayhem!

I am a holiday obsessive (in case you hadn't noticed), so I find all of this rather nerdily thrilling.

But it does feel like it kind of jumped up out of nowhere as well. I am home today and peddling through my Christmas to do list, which includes purchasing gifts for Axel's 7 first cousins, 6 aunts and uncles, grandparents etc. And tomorrow we get our tree, which is going to be a blast.

Pictures to come, obviously.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Early Risers

Axel, New York, 2012

This morning, we got up before sunrise to take Axel to midtown for an MRI on his cyst. The light was amazing, and driving into the city I couldn't help but feel very lucky to be seeing it, even though taking your child to a hospital is never something you really want to be doing.

A month or so ago, we met with a pediatric neurosurgeon. Even though Axel's cyst is most likely superficial and mainly a cosmetic issue, because it's on his head, the neurosurgeon it is.

Our doctor seems great and very capable. You know how at work, you sometimes joke, "We're not curing cancer," or "We're not saving babies"? Well, yeah, these guys are in fact saving babies every day.

He was very reassuring and recommended we remove the cyst around the time he is is 6 months old. But to schedule that surgery, we need the MRI. Today was our attempt to do it without sedation. Unfortunately our sound asleep, well fed, and tightly swaddled baby woke up screaming as soon as the machine was turned on. Which means we are back to square one.

Afterwards, he looked momentarily worried, but was back to naps and high spirits as soon as we got home.

For us it's a little more complicated. Even though we've known about Axel's cyst since he was a 16-week-old fetus, and we've known he would likely need surgery for it at some point, the logistics of the here and the now are tough. But we trucked it back to Brooklyn, dosed ourselves up on coffee, and are still feeling very lucky.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


New York, 2012

Today I wrapped up the project I've been working on (subbing for an editor who has been traveling.)

It's weird, sitting at somebody's desk, seeing their rainy November view, essentially sitting in on somebody else's life for a spell. You can't help but imagine what they would do after work, what they think while sitting there. My feelings on the matter are a mixed bag.

Tonight, for maybe the first time since Axel was born, I really felt like going out to some silly posh of-the-second West Village restaurant and clinking glasses with people with interesting jobs and witty anecdotes.

I also felt like coming home and taking a bath.

Going to work has gotten a lot easier since those early days when it felt like pure physical shock. The hurricane and its aftermath obviously didn't help. But then somehow everything was sort of okay. I felt great about our nanny, and Axel was thriving, and I was patching up the leaky boat (financially, so to speak.) Paychecks came. And that felt good.

And so I am exploring part time options that will let me be in the office a few days, at home a few days.

Because I really miss long walks in the fresh air, meeting up with my fellow mothers, the possibility of going to yoga, and (of course) long stretches of time with Axel. And the time to think about things, instead of just kind of mustering the strength for the daily grind. Sometimes it's hard not to fantasize about living somewhere like, say, Portland, where the cost of living is less egregious and the puzzle might be easier to put together.

But I also am coming to see the value in a routine outside of my zip code, flexing other muscles. Like ambition, maybe? I am not sure what to call it. Starting tomorrow, I guess, I will have some time to mull it all over.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sixteen Weeks Old

Axel, 2012

The fact that I am sleepwalking through the day aside, Axel at sixteen weeks is pretty charming.

He wasn't entirely himself this holiday because he was sick, but even so he seems to be changing every day. The latest developments include a keen interest in his toys. He really looks at his Sophie the Giraffe, his crinkly cow book, and his little lamb blanket like Oh Yes. All This is MINE! My Three Worldly Poseessions! In the car on the way home from Maine, he slept all the way intently gripping his giraffe. You do not mess with this boy's giraffe...

It's also getting easier (and funnier) to try to decode what he's thinking at any given moment. In the morning, when I bring him into bed at around 7 a.m. for milk, he looks back and forth at me and Will like "This is the life." And over the Thanksgiving week he was thrilled to sit in a high chair for the first time and survey the scene from a more grown up vantage point. He's still a little wobbly in the chair (doing what Will calls his gangsta lean), but he really loves the sense of being in the thick of things.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Homeward Bound

Maine, 2012

A few last looks at the view and we are packing ourselves into the car for the long drive home. Axel's cold is still waking him up every few hours so while I've had a relatively lazy week, I'm still somehow exhausted.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Feast

Maine, 2012

Thanksgiving Day was lots of fun. Nautical stripes, ornamental gourds, cheese-laden potatoes, a roaring fire and plenty of wine. Oh, and lots of kiddos. Dinner was probably less serene and stylish than in years past, but it's a happy sort of mayhem when the kitchen is in chaos and there are lots of little people traipsing about and making their chirping noises.

After a Tuesday trip to the doctor's for a 101.1 temperature (and a lot of very sad screaming), it's been a tiring few days for our schnuffly little boy, but he seems mostly in good spirits thanks to infants' Tylenol, steamy showers, and a scary looking nose machine. I think he is feeling all powerful after a few sessions sitting in a high chair and holding his bottle on his own. We like him very much.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Maine, 2012

After a rough Tuesday, Axel seems to be feeling much better today. So we are off to plot out our meal for tomorrow. Hope you all have toasty, tasty days and lots of leftovers.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Axel, 2012

You know how as soon as you take a holiday, you get sick?

The little fellow seems to be on the verge of something. My unusually cheerful babe was unusually cranky today, with flushed red cheeks and a whiny sort of cry. We gave him a hot bath and I sang the "Star Spangled Banner" several times and now he seems to have drifted off to sleep.

Fortunately, we are well armed with gin and tonics and homemade peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies, so it's not totally dire straits around here.


Williamsburg, 2012

We made the trek up to Maine via Boston this weekend and are now busily chattering to the baby, cooking, coffee drinking, and pontificating. I think I have about a million knots in my back from the last few weeks but hopefully they will slowly unravel themselves.

Friday, November 16, 2012

11211 Love

Williamsburg, 2012

So this fellow wants to secede from Williamsburg

I am not going to write a screed on gentrification, though I do find the changing neighborhood interesting. 

I mean, when I moved here 9 years ago, it was a hell of a lot scrappier (as was I, though I was never all that scrappy.) But I did the living in a loft with 5 people whose names I barely remember thing. And mourned the L cafe and so on. 

Now, of course, we have grown into those uncool people with strollers and fancy coffee who annoy the artistes. 

What I suppose I take issue with is the idea that the neighborhood has changed simply because of an invasion of new and different people. Thing is, guy, there are plenty of creative professionals who've been here for a while, but who happen to now live in condos instead of lofts. Who simply chose to invest in a neighborhood they love. And to breed here!

Sure, some of the changing demographic is all about the new. But some of it is just that the neighborhood is growing up. Happens to the best of us. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Easily Amused

Axel, 2012

Went for coffee this morning at Toby's Estate. Axel decided he was not at all tired and wanted to join in on the chat. Until he passed out on his papa's hand.

There was road work outside, and every time the door opened, Axel's head snapped up in surprise at the noise of the jackhammers. About three seconds after it shut, he passed out again. Like a tiny exhausted Jack in the Box. These are the small, everyday things that crack up his overly-caffeinated parents.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Axel, 2012

So many outfits, so little time.

Yeah, okay, we're not sleeping much around here. But that in and of itself has made for some fun little rituals. Usually, when Axel wakes up at 6:30 or 7, Will gets up with him and take him out for a coffee run and a walk so I can get some more sleep.

Which is lovely, but occasionally I find myself becoming rather jealous of their morning quality time. When they get back Axel is usually leaning towards cranky and getting ready for food and a nap while I am struggling to shower and get out the door.

Once a week or so, like this morning, I get up and do it myself. So these two little pics definitely represent some of the highlights of my day.

And the last one? Christmas is nearly here...I am most definitely not one of those people who bemoan the increasingly early start of the holidays. Am. So. Frickin' Excited.

On Sleep

Axel, 2012

There is really nothing interesting about other people's sleep patterns, but since you're here...

We've completely failed in our sleep training efforts. It's not that sleep training failed, per se, it's just that we never got around to trying it.

One week it was our trip to Seattle, and we didn't want to try to establish a routine only to have it undone by jet lag. Then it was going back to work, which made it hard to fathom my only interactions with Axel being staring at him on the video monitor while ignoring his screams. Another week it was, 'Let's try it Saturday night...oh, but Saturday night we're out and he'll be sleeping in his stroller and that's not typical, so...'

Basically we talk about doing it and then can't muster the nerve. So, for now Axel is up to eat pretty much when he pleases, like, say, 11 p.m., 2 a.m., 5 a.m. and again at 7 a.m., when he's up for the day. And next week we are off to Maine for Thanksgiving and a few weeks after that to the UK for the holidays, and he will be back in our room for both stints away from home. So. It seems we are at an impasse.

The funny thing is that he's actually a great sleeper. I know he can self soothe because he does so, perfectly, when we put him down for the night at around 7 and after each of his nighttime feeds. He is quite content to be put down awake for a nap and drifts off without much protest. We have even dispensed with the swaddle and the pacifier (mostly.) He will still sleep in his stroller or car seat if we take him out past "bedtime."

He just seems to like eating on a 24-hour clock. And teaching him otherwise has become that thing on my to do list that somehow never gets crossed off.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fourteen Weeks

Axel, 2012

Ball of fuzz! Axel is in pretty good spirits this week. As is his mama, who only has four days left of work until the Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Axel, Williamsburg, 2012

Well hello there.

I think I need a weekend to recover from our weekend. We brunched, we made risotto, we went for a bike ride and discovered a twee little cookie shop in Greenpoint called Ovenly. We consumed many lattes.

We had a babysitter and a date at Buvette, a crushingly adorable little French spot in the Village, where we dined next to a certain '90s supermodel. We saw the James Bond movie (which I loved. Will was disappointed there were not more hi-tech whizbangs this go round.) And we had cocktails at Hotel Delmano and dinner at our neighbors.

Axel swatted at his wooden play gym-thingamajig, ate his rattle, and laughed uproariously when I helped him put his feet in his mouth.

So...a lot of activity around these parts and maybe just a tad too ambitious for my liking. Am officially grounding myself until at least Wednesday.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Working Girl

From this...

Axel, 2012

To this...

New York, 2012

I took the ferry to work, which always reminds me of that scene in Working Girl, you know, with the Carly Simon song blasting.

One of the weirder things about being away from the boy all day is not really having a handle on his mood. I can ask all sorts of questions of the nanny when I get home, but fundamentally, I don't know if a fussy streak at 9 p.m. is the culmination of an off day or just plain old tiredness. Whereas when I am with him 24-7 I feel much more confident in my abilities to intuit the root of his irritability or squirminess.

He's a funny little creature. Lately, when I get home, he's already in bed, and so I wake him up to feed him at some point before I put myself to sleep. He's so excited to see us, but exhausted at the same time, and he is smiling and sobbing all at once. It's quite a sight to behold.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

First Snow

New York, 2012

It's not much of an overstatement to say it's nuts out there. The first snowfall of the year.

Made it home in one piece and there's chili on the stove. It's still falling like crazy, and will be 'til well after midnight.

Axel was cozy at home with the nanny all day, but I say it still counts as his first snow. Right? Looking forward to the views in the morning. And it's nearly the weekend, people...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Williamsburg, 2012

Weirdly, after berating myself all weekend for choosing to go back to work (in a hurricane, no less, though I couldn't have predicted that), the last few days haven't been so bad.

I'm walking to a subway line that adds a good 30 minutes to my usual commute. But I've somehow mustered a little bit of pragmatism or cheer around the whole production, and am muddling through. I mean, we're New Yorkers, right?

In an odd way, the chaos of the storm has meant that I don't feel as guilty if I am not there at a certain hour, on the nose. I guess it's made me more aware of my limitations, and less apologetic about them.

Instead of feeling guilty about leaving work when I need to, I leave work because...seriously? It's a jungle out there. And I am not skulking out for frivolous reasons. It's almost like the mayhem out there is eclipsing my internal mayhem.

So we're doing okay around these parts.

This morning, we took the boy with us to vote. Now we commence the nail biting (and wine drinking and dinner making.) It's not a bad gig, really.

Three Months Old

Axel, 2012

Axel at three months old, rocking his stripes! A look back at two months, and at one...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...