New York Vacation

20140801-163039-59439249.jpgIt’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.

20140801-164147-60107865.jpgThe 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.

IMG_547220140801-164151-60111700.jpgI’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.

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Life’s A Beach

Moses loves the beach.  I like the beach, but growing up no where near it, it’s much more of an appreciation than a “need” or yearning.  Moses requires beach time.  I wonder how Alice will be?ImageWe took her to Huntington Beach where Moses grew up on Saturday and Malibu Sunday for a hike and some more beach time (and some swinging).  Since Alice’s favorite thing in the world is to sit on a padded blanket and have us play with her she was pretty stoked on beach time.  She also loved all the other children and people she could stare at until they smiled at her or came over to say hi (including, randomly, David Spade, who was sitting close to us while we had lunch at Cafe Habana on Sunday).Image

When we dipped her baby feet in the freezing cold water she looked a little shocked, but she recovered quickly and set to her next task: trying really hard to eat sand.  We managed to evade the actual eating of grains (until today, when I took her to the Santa Monica Pier for the afternoon.  I now have ample photos of little Bluebelle with her mouth ringed in sand).ImageBeyond the sitting on blankets with padding, Alice’s other favorite thing is to pinch, pull and squeeze just about anything she can get her hands on.  This includes my hair and Moses’, Moses’ nose and eyebrows, my lips and so on.  I miss wearing my hair loose, and while I’m not a big jewelry person beyond rings, it would be nice to have that option…but Alice won’t be a baby forever and then I’m sure I’ll miss it–even the scratches when her nails get too long.ImageImageSometimes when Alice and I are outside I tell her how lucky she is to grow up here–She wakes up to (a really annoying but picturesque) rooster and the nighttime air smells of jasmine.  We have wild parrots that (again annoyingly but…) sit on our porch rails and we spend our weekends hiking and beaching, our days growing plants and vegetables to eat.  While I love where I grew up and will always enjoy the seasons, I can’t say I miss it.  California is such an amazing place.ImageImage

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.

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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Oh Penelope

August has been a chaotic month.  Between a visit from my mother, a new job and a trip back home to California I decided the best option was to take a few weeks off from blogging.  In the midst of my hiatus so many things happened!

One of my favorites is my friends Sean and Hollie had their baby!  Penelope is now a part of our Brooklyn life, tiny fingers, hair bows and all.  As the best-dressed-baby on the Eastern coast (I knew she would be before she was even born), I scoured my brain for options on baby shower gifts when little Penny was still just a (very large) baby bump in her momma’s tummy.

In the end I made some one-sies using vintage ribbons I found at one of my favorite spots, Tinsel Trading Company.  While it wasn’t cheaper, it felt more authentic than buying something off the rack and gave me an opportunity to learn to sew a little…A special thanks to Lisa for letting me use not only her machine but also her expertise (and for making me a delicious dinner!).

And, in case you didn’t know, I LOVE wrapping gifts.  Apparently this interest is genetic–my mother’s an avid gift wrapper, too.  I try to avoid typical wrapping prints.  My dream is to one day have rolls of vintage wallpaper to use with twine.  A girl can dream…

Kitty Viv obviously helped, and I also made a quiche for the shower, which is one of my all time favorite recipes to make AND the first dish I ever mastered.  While studying in France my “Madame” (mother-away-from-home) taught me to make a perfect French quiche.  While the original featured bacon, I opt for a veggie version using caramelized onion, mushroom and swiss cheese in a home made crust.  Yum.