We’re Back!

LosAngeles0312_3892There is a poem by A.A. Milne, “The Old Sailor,” which says

There was once an old sailor my grandfather knew
Who had so many things which he wanted to do
That, whenever he thought it was time to begin,
He couldn’t because of the state he was in.

We read an awful lot of Mr. Milne these days.  He’s a family favorite (to the degree that my big brother is Christopher), and he pretty much sums up my state of mind.  There is SO much to do.  But then I think that’s how hoarders must feel and realize I have to pull myself together and take another favorite’s advice “best walk forward,” (oh Mary Poppins what would I do without you?).

Brooklyn0912_3569Obviously I took I hiatus–a much deserved hiatus.  I had my baby and I moved back to California.  I started up archiving again (from home!  Thank you Freelancers Union, for letting me keep my job remotely and allowing me to live the freelancing dream!).

Manhattan1212_3741And now Alice is nearly six-months old.  She says “hi da da da,” even though she doesn’t realize that’s Moses quite yet, and she can sit up for a few seconds before she falls sideways or forward (she’s quite limber).  As of 4 1/2 months she started to sleep through the night and now I have some time in the evenings when I’m not feverishly running to bed to try to get a few hours of sleep before she wakes.

Woodstock1012_3607She’s up at 6:30 on the nose, but I love mornings.  I go into her room and she usually been talking for a few minutes and making her slow rotation (still in her sleep sack) in her crib.  She smiles and holds out her arms for a pick up and hug and we go back to my room so I can feed her and she can squish daddy’s face in her (newly very strong) fingers.

Woodstock1012_3591As we get more and more settled and turn up long-lost things like USB cords for the camera so we can finally upload photos, it’s utterly amazing how very much she’s changed and grown.  Some how her eyes are still very blue and clothes I had and couldn’t imagine newborn Alice would ever wear fit like little sausage casings.     I have a newly pregnant friend who told me to have another–but wistful though I am, that’s a ways out.  I haven’t quite had time to forget waking every 90 minutes for three and a-half-months to feed this darling babe.

Manhattan1212_3730But, despite the long lists of things I can think of that need to be done each day, I promise I’ll update at least weekly.  It’s too important for me to keep a record of events and share.  I’m also looking at different blog platforms because this one isn’t my favorite (I also think that’s the nature of archiving.  I’m always SURE there’s a better, more effective method of preservation.  Yikes.)

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Maternity Wear

Maternity clothing, vintage dresses, knit dresses as maternity, etsy dresses maternity wear, maternity clothesAt the ripe old week of 38 I thought I’d better do a maternity clothes post if I ever plan to. I’m proud to say I haven’t worn a single “maternity” thing while pregnant—(I bought jeans from Topshop but they were just too hot, so I’m hoping to wear them after baby comes). Instead I wore the long dresses I always do, and supplemented with a few extras.

Maternity clothing, vintage dresses, knit dresses as maternity, etsy dresses maternity wear, maternity clothes

My dresses were always sans waist (when I wanted to clearly be “the pregnant lady” I cinched them with a little belt and made an empire waist).  And because most of my pregnancy fell during the hot (so hot) summer months and I walked nearly two miles to and from work each day, heels were the first to go. They made me too slow and I just didn’t feel “good” in them. Instead I opted for flat sandals of all sorts, all of which are now fall apart from dragging my feet as I got heavier and heavier.Maternity clothing, vintage dresses, knit dresses as maternity, etsy dresses maternity wear, maternity clothes Truth be told, nobody really “knew” from looking at me that I was pregnant until about six and a- half or seven months (I felt HUGE, but the subway seats weren’t offered until this point and half the people at my current job looked shocked when I’d mention that I was expecting). Despite that I was able to wear my regular clothes, I didn’t—they didn’t feel right. So I spent the cooler months (part of March, all of April and May) in over-sized boyfriend jeans and then once it got too warm it was all dresses.

Maternity clothing, vintage dresses, knit dresses as maternity, etsy dresses maternity wear, maternity clothesMost of my picks were vintage. I have a batik dress that was my pool cover-up and weekend dress because the fabric was so thin it was tolerable when most things weren’t. I bought a printed maxi dress/muumuu I bought on Etsy that was a good-send, (though it made me look MORE pregnant, but sometimes that’s nice), and lots of other dresses from the summer before—because I just like maxi dresses (and I felt lucky they were in style, because the length made me feel better, I haven’t been keen on my legs during this transition).Maternity clothing, vintage dresses, knit dresses as maternity, etsy dresses maternity wear, maternity clothes People seemed to like that nothing I wore was flat out “maternity,” and it saved money, which was nice. Once the baby comes I hope to continue with the same sorts of things, mostly, but I’m hoping to enjoy heeled ankle boots, clogs and jeans again, too. And I’ll definitely move the belt to my real waist, once it’s back…

And I’ll leave you with a few of Alice’s pieces that I’m pulling together thanks to wonderful gifts from friends, vintage finds and again…lots of Etsy.Maternity clothing, vintage dresses, knit dresses as maternity, etsy dresses maternity wear, maternity clothes, baby clothes, vintage baby outfits, baby girl clothing, getting ready for baby

Oh Aquarius…and an old beach day.

ImageMy 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.”ImageOf 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.)ImageImageImageImageImageImageSo, 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. Image

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.

Alice’s Baby Shower

ImageYou know what’s weird?  Time.  Early on, when we were first starting to get ready for Alice I realized time was becoming a “thing” in a new way—a total hang up and preoccupation.  I was so excited to have a baby, I wasn’t thinking about enjoying the pregnant part, anticipation and preparation.  We’ve been trying to reframe that, and we’ve done a good job (if I do say so myself).

We decide on a name early on and we’ve always called Alice Alice.  We spent time decorating her bedroom and going through her clothes, but we’ve also been spending lots of time at the beach, and I’ve been doing lots of prenatal yoga, long walks (getting harder and harder in this heat and as my belly gets bigger)—in short, all the things that won’t be nearly as easy to do once Miss Alice lives on the outside.

And now, low and behold, it’s nearly AUGUST.  I’m nearly 8 months pregnant (two days!) and my baby shower, which was once SOOOO far away, has come and gone. Time has flown–and I’m so glad we decided to make an effort to view each part this as special–because it has been (and continues to be).ImageImageImage I have to say, I’ve just been incredibly lucky when it comes to great friends willing to throw me a great party.  I met Christy and Susannah at roughly age five or six—and by the time high school rolled around we were best friends.  (At 15, in the midst of a giant Titanic obsession I was thrown a Titanic-themed party for 3 in my basement, which included a cheesecake sampler and dress dummy decked out as a life-sized Leonardo DiCaprio).

Image I’m so lucky to have BOTH of them living with me here in Brooklyn.  And when they offered to throw my baby shower I was thrilled.   With a homemade onesies station, a compiled book of “Advice for Alice,” and a menu made of the “cravings” I had jokingly sent out in an email at just three months pregnant, my shower was one of the most touching, heartfelt things I’ve ever experienced.  (I can’t wait to return the favor!) ImageIt couldn’t have been a better, more special, well-planned event, and I can’t help but be so, so excited for not just me, but baby Alice—because I must have done something so right to have such great people who already love Alice.  Christy and Sus are just the icing on a really spectacular cake—all day long I looked around at the new friends, long standing friends—from here, from LA, from jobs—everything in between, and thought how LUCKY Moses and I are to have such a wonderful support system.

ImageImageAnd there are EVEN more people we love in California and Missouri who didn’t get to make it, but we know they’re there and rooting for us.  So, to conclude this totally mushy post, thank you to EVERYONE for caring about us and welcoming Alice already!  She’s going to be once lucky, lucky girl and now I really feel like I can take these last few weeks and just breathe and get excited (and plan outfits.  Man oh man is this going to be one WELL dressed kid).

ImageAll photos (except the very last one) taken by the amazingly talented Christy Kurtz.  And a special thank you to Christy’s amazing fiance, Chris, who took our group picture–a few times–drove me home, helped carry my junk upstairs (and did all that with a smile) AND was kicked out of his apartment all day–xoxo.  ImageImage

Have you seen the little piggies?

ImageMy 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.

ImageBut 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).
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ImageImageImageThe 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).

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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.

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Good Bits.

ImageWhen I was little I had a sampler over my bed that said:

“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow, for babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow.  So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep, for I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep!”  I remember always reading it when I got a little older and could read.  I liked the urgency of the last line, “babies don’t keep!”

ImageImageWithin the last few days that old rhyme keeps popping into my head.  The baby isn’t even here yet, but I keep thinking of all these “tasks” I must complete as an invasion–an invasion on the little time I have left before the baby comes and an invasion on the short amount of time I have to just experience…this.

ImageAnd there are so many little “bits” to take care of.  Nothing seems easy.  I think I was lucky enough to grow up thinking things were easy if you were the right sort of person.  If I had my way I would transport myself to a secluded farm or cabin with animals and sunshine, trees and space, some where Kitty Viv could lay in the sunshine outside and be safe and herbs could grow in the ground and not in pots in a cramped window.

ImageImageBut, the rain is cozy too, and it could be much, much worse.  Here’s a few of the lovely bits–I’ll omit the not-so-lovely.  Fresh camomile bouquet, strawberry, basil and cucumber mocktails, pretty necklaces, hanging pretty pieces, fleetweek family snapshots and a very, very bad little cat all make the “good and lucky” list.

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Platform Shoes on Table Tops: Think I’m Going To Have a Baby.

ImageYou know, I never thought there was anything I’d be reluctant to share, but it turns out, having a baby is a hard thing to really open up about, for me at least.  Thanks to blogging there are countless catalogs of everyone’s experience, and I realized I was having trouble thinking of each individual experience as anything but “the right” experience.  But I think the best thing about having a baby is this: there are totally as many ways to do it as there are women in the world.  

ImageSo, to answer a few questions I get quite often that are totally specific to me:

Did I get morning sickness?

Nope, not once.  I think I maybe just over ate a few times, but I never threw up from morning sickness.

Are there any weird cravings I have?

I can eat my weight in hot sauce and ketchup these days, but I never DIDN’T like these things, I just didn’t do things like dip bread in them. They’ve moved from “take it or leave it” to entre.  

Do I drink coffee?

I do–yes, one cup a day, because I’ve had two doctors and they both said it was okay and while I haven’t had morning sickness I have had horrible, horrible headaches and coffee, as my midwife suggested, has helped A TON.

Is it a boy or a girl?

A GIRL!  I was shocked, because you’ll hear a lot of “sayings,” when you’re pregnant.  One I heard a lot was “if you get sicker it’s a girl.”  Well, I didn’t, so I was pretty sure this was a dude, but turns out it’s a girl!  Totally pumped either way, but I am excited about a girl.  I love dresses and tom boys, I grew up toeing a fine line, usually wearing princess dresses covered in mud with no shoes, so I feel like no matter what type of gal this is, I’ve got it covered.

Do I work out?

Work out? No.  But I never “work out.”  I run, but not with the urgency or frequency I might usually run (once  or twice a week).  I run slowly and, once I hit around week 15 it made me really have to pee, so it’s not as much fun as usual, but still gets the blood flowing.  I also walk to and from work every day (about a mile an half each way) and was doing prenatal yoga, which I will start again soon.

Am I still a vegetarian?  

I am!  Actually, my doctor indicated MOST of her patients move in that direction during pregnancy even if they usually ate meat.  I was astounded.  I was ready to be like, craving and clawing for meat, but nah.  Totally fine with my normal diet, though I have added cheese, eggs and yogurt in–which is another totally personal choice.  I fully believe you can have a healthy baby without doing so, but my family has lots of bone issues and the baby takes calcium whether you’re getting it or not, so I made the decision to eat it.  It’s also something I’ve always liked the taste of and, unlike meat, have to purposely avoid eating when I do.  So there you have it.

Okay, so there you go!  My first blog about baby. There will be more, but it’s been hard to share, like I said.  Image