It’s been awhile since an update. I know. I’m going to continue as if that never happened.
We left New York when Alice was just 4 months old. When we made the decision to leave we promised we would bring her back regularly, that she’d know that city as well as our new one.
One full week, and instead of fretting over rent, affordable childcare, transportation and all the distracting realities of life in New York we so eagerly left behind, we focused on just enjoying the city. We visited friends, old neighborhoods and restaurants. We swam in warm ocean water and ate bagels and pizza. We did all the romantic things we had meant to but rarely had time for while we were living there: Central Park, The Museum of Natural History, Jane’s Carrousel, the High Line Park and The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
The most amazing aspect of our entire trip was experiencing the city with a very outgoing almost-two-year-old. Where there were once tense, crammed subway rides at rush hour there were now friendly, outgoing individuals smiling and talking at length with Alice. Diverted eyes and random pushes we’re replaced with smiles, waves and the concerned “pardon me.” Even cabbies and uber drivers were double checking her carseat and asking of the baby was comfortable.
I’m not sure how we’ll recover once we no longer cart around this precious toddler who calls out (“close it!” to the subway doors and “sit down” to each new passenger), waves and dances to anything resembling a beat. I guess we’ll need a really cute dog to carry in a handbag.
This Easter Moses went to Los Vegas to celebrate a bachelor’s party and Alice and I decided to visit my family in Missouri. Growing up I spent an incredible amount of time pretending I was someplace else. As a grown up who’s lived in (almost) all of the places I pretended myself into, I can see the charm of where I actually was. Of course, I like where I am–it’s equally important to understand you can value something but “not go home again.” But it is a wonderful place to be.
Alice and I spent long, sunny mornings in the park or longing in the den with toys. When Alice wanted to play we walked across the narrow road to play with the family across the street and there was no shortage of spring flowers to see, cook books to peruse and kitties to chase.
We made tons of granola, some scones and the paper thin, delicate oatmeal crisp cookies my grandmother made (confession: we made them three times) and lots of simple dinners once the baby had gone to sleep. My mother and I had some nice glasses of wine, talked and read some A.A. Milne to Alice (and each other), and I got to visit with my childhood kitties (now totally on their last legs).
My parents bought our house in the early 70s–before my brother and I were born. Both of us grew up in the house and while it’s been remodeled and things come and go, the bones are the same. It’s amazing to put your baby to bed in the room that was yours when you were a baby. I can remember waking up and crying for my mother in the same room Alice woke up and cried in this time around (working hard to see the charm in that). I loved getting Alice ready for bed and saying goodnight, knowing she was hearing the same muffled noises I heard when I was put to bed at night. The circle game…
My mother sent me baby book information today: “You were born at 11:37 pm, Tuesday. At five weeks you were 6 lbs., 20.75 inches long. At 2 months you were 8 lbs. 11 oz.”Of course, I used the new found knowledge of my time of birth (nobody’s ever been able to “quite” remember) to calculate my astrological chart. An important thing to do when you’re 8 months pregnant (not really), and for the most part, I found all my signs, houses and what-not’s to be self-indulgently satisfying and pretty accurate (I like to switch jobs, I am a little too opinionated to be fun for most people, I have trouble expressing anger and am quick to criticize. I work well alone, like fiction and can research something into the ground. No real surprises.)So, anyway—now that I know all about myself, here’s a few photos of our last trip to Southampton. It’s been awhile—so use your imagination (and I’ll try to post soon) new bump pictures, for those of you that are interested.
As for the bump called Alice, she is growing nicely. At 33 weeks she’s running a little on the small side (she measures more like 31 weeks, but as my mother’s measurements indicate, I was a tiny gal too), but everything else looks great.
I bought her a stuffed pig this week so that she could get nice and big. And, breaking from my usual, I fed her some pizza and French fries, which will just make ME bigger, and not Alice, but if you can’t indulge a little at 8 months, when can you? I assure you, it will be all quinoa and whole grains for the rest of the week, so that Alice can actually get healthy goods in there, too.
And here’s Kitty Viv killing the same piggy. I think she’s going to LOVE baby.
My blogging as of late is disgraceful. I think it’s largely due to Moses and my on-going discussion on blogging and privacy. I wouldn’t say we’re at a disagreement: on the contrary, we mostly agree, but we’re not any closer to a resolution. The issue at hand is whether or not we’re comfortable showing our baby on this (admittedly small-knit community of viewers) once she makes her debut.
I’ve mentioned before pregnancy has made me balk a little at the idea of sharing, which is a little unlike me. But I’m finding it hard to say if baby is truly mine to share. What if some day she resents that I posted pictures of her or shared her babyhood? Moses, in the same vein, thinks online images are awfully open…and so very potentially permanent. But is there really any stopping it? And I am really excited—and I love to write and photograph things—and I know there will be no better subject (judging the by volume of Kitty Vivienne pictures I have lurking on my hard drive, the baby’s first year of images is likely to paper a trail to the moon and back), but is it fair?
Fortunately I have a few more months to go back and forth, back and forth. I’m sure I’ll need them.
But in the mean time here are a few pictures from our latest weekend trip. For his first (sort of first?) father’s day, Moses decided we should get away for the day. We’ve become Montauk enthusiasts, but since variety is the spice of life, we opted for a new direction this time. Woodstock. Moses found The Woodstock Animal Sanctuary and we got a zipcar. We brought our sunhats and bought some bagels on the way out of town—and voila, goodbye New York (for the day).
The animals are all farm animals, and mostly refugees from Brooklyn and Manhattan—there was a cow a couple had purchased from a farmer that was taking him for slaughter, lots of very lucky hens and roosters, ducks and a handful of (huge) pigs. There were sheep, and my favorite, goats (they’re really affectionate), and one absolutely terrifying turkey that walked around intimidating people (me) by making this weird sound like a furnace lighting up and getting just a little too close (I ended up running into an air conditioning unit to try to get away from him/her, bruising my arm).
But, despite some of the very sad stories and a lot of serious talks about animal rights (no matter how much I do I know I could always do more) we had a great time. It was wide open and beautiful, and we bought some fresh jam and had some delicious juice, and even though our tour guide worked her hardest to convert my meat-eating significant-other, his last father’s day request was…you guessed it: BBQ in Harlem at Dinosaur BBQ on the way back into the city. Sometimes the gap between the guided tour and the dinner table seems like a very long way.
Guess what? (If you’re reading this blog, you probably know) I got married! Since I don’t have those pictures yet, here’s some from our honeymoon in Peru.
Turns out, Peru’s not super easy to get to: at least not if you’re not staying in Lima. We flew from LA to Lima and then boarded a tiny plane (which we missed the first time around—long, treacherous story involving not enough layover time and a late take off) to Cusco. Once we got to Cusco we took a (very expensive, we later found) cab ride to our first hotel, a resort called Tamba del Inca. After a day of being pampered we switched to our hotel for the next five days, a two-story bungalow on a compound with five friendly dogs and four other houses.
Of course, we had loads more photos, but here are a few just to show you how amazing our trips to town, ruins, and meals were on our “luna meil.”
I know I said in the last post we love SF. We do. Here’s why.
Tartine! My very favorite. Oh the coconut flake. The cookies. God those COOKIES.
I relate to SF. Someday I’ll get it right and we can live together. There. In harmony.
Jamie Lumpy head (Arya Lumpy Head Horse Face) with a Mission-Style Burrito (veggie sans cheese.)
Baker Beach and Moses with Marin in the background.
Isn’t it all better in hindsight? On our latest trip back to California we visited San Francisco (more pictures to come). I love SF fiercely. Except when I live there. I suspect it’s the weather: if you’re an overly “romantic” type, prone to reading Gothic-ish novels and spent your childhood pretending your neighbor’s driveway was a canal in Venice and an over-grown dog-pin a forgotten, walled garden on an English moor, chances are you don’t need the real-life weather to agree with the gloomy and mysterious pretend fog your daydreaming about all the time. Call it too much of a good thing.
But they do have some lovely coffee (blue bottle) and is truly is magic, visually. If I could just stay bundled in a blanket reading books I’d never leave.