28 August 2015

SOUP AND E

Grandma Soup and Eamon compare pants patterns


TUB TIME

Eamon has a spa moment (in the kitchen sink)


SELFIES

Roan had such a stellar year in PreK at PS20 that I am still somewhat sad that we won't be returning.  However, we got to keep all of the portraits he did throughout the year.  It's astonishing to see how far he progressed in one year  (with an absolutely amazing teacher and assistant teacher), especially as a kid who doesn't like to sit for more than 3 minutes.

This has to be one of the most exciting and fascinating things about having a kid; watching them learn and discover things reminds you what an act of magic creativity is.

He started the year just scribbling

Slowly features started to emerge. Maybe this is Roan as a spider?

He looks a little beleaguered here.

Here he looks fairly frantic but there is definitely a more solid face with features

This might be my favorite

This is exactly how I feel in January

I feel like he is really short changing himself in the hair department

Reminds me of the Grinch for some reason?

Look at the difference! I'm definitely getting a Spongebob vibe from this one.

21 August 2015

THIS LADY IS FUNNY

This piece is great. It's written by a woman who lost her husband and it led me to two thoughts:

1. Like anything you have to merely maintain rather than create from scratch (think: toned abs, pie crust, a three piece suit) you don't give much thought to what went in to creating your happiness. Then something catastrophic happens and you are catapulted back to before you were born, when people who loved you were already hard at work creating for you a world of joy even though you were a teeny amoeba-like thing that no one could see.  You have to find a way back to a happiness that had been constructed over decades by a chorus of loved ones through safety and structure and planning.  If you can do that you kind of feel like a superhero, like you've taught yourself how to breathe under water.

2. When something really shitty happens to you it gives you license to entertain your darkest deepest sense of humor.  It's the only thing that really keeps you from becoming totally cynical about the truth.



11 August 2015

UP AND OUT

This weekend we went climbing with our incredibly outdoorsy and intrepid friends Forest and Jordan, Lucy and Michael and their kids Georgia and Annie. We've been trying to make this happen for a while and finally all of the varying trade winds aligned with a gorgeous day upstate.

Forest and Jordan had already set up everything upon for arrival (this is the way they operate - for their wedding in Alaska they basically acted as wilderness guides for their friends for a week) - the ropes, the harnesses etc.  Roan went first and didn't last too terribly long but did pretty well for a first timer.  Climbing requires stillness and motor planning, which are not Roan's strongest attributes.  Eventually he figured out that his favorite part was swinging from the safety rope.

Sam did really well until he had to go back down and then had a bit of a moment, but he worked through it.  I, on the other hand, made it about 3 feet up the wall and kind of froze.  I think you have to really want to make it to the top to push through any fear and I realized very quickly that my fear of heights is vastly more potent than any competitive need to persevere.  So I retired myself for the day and took pictures instead.

Sunflowers!

Roan on the rocks

When he was nervous he asked Lucy if he could hold her hand

Eamon in the grass

One with nature

Everyone at the wall

Sam taking a break

Georgia and Roan build a fort

Fields





04 August 2015

EASY LIVING


Since my first experience of parenthood was not only of twins but also of a terrifyingly sick baby, I made a vow to myself this time around to plan nothing post-birth. I would have no expectations, no goals, no ambitions beyond the day-to-day experience of caring for one healthy baby. 

Let me tell you how amazing it has been. Apart from recovering from delivery this has been the most uncomplicatedly blissful 12 weeks of my life. Eamon eats like a champ. He sleeps like a pro, mostly waking only once at night. He almost never cries, has never been sick, and is beginning to meet developmental milestones on schedule. Right now he is laying on an exercise pad under a galaxy of stuffed toy vehicles, gurgling, kicking, cooing.

Mostly I nurse, change diapers, and gaze into his gorgeous smiling face. Sam gets up early with Roan and gets him ready for camp while the baby and I snooze.

I spend the day cleaning, washing, cooking, folding, nursing, changing, and organizing.  I go for walks with the dog and the baby and work out twice a week with a fellow new mom and a trainer.  I've taken E to see four matinees in the theater, 2 documentaries (Amy and Wolfpack) and 2 biopics (The Stanford Prison Experiment and Love & Mercy) and he has hardly stirred in any of them. Later this week I am going to visit the new Whitney Museum with a fellow new mom. 

Of my current life I have two thoughts:

This is SO EASY.

and

I'm a little BORED.

Of my two thoughts I have a multitude of thoughts:

I am SO grateful this is so easy.  I fucking deserve easy this time.

and

It is amazing how inadequate the words "having a baby" are to describe the spectrum of experience possible for this one event. We should have as many words for "birth" as the Eskimos have for "snow" (approx 50).

and

I really am not used to things being this easy.  This does not sit well with my temperament. Shouldn't I, of the Lean In generation, a graduate of Bronx High School of Science and RISD, be gunning for more, better, smarter, harder? Am I confusing contentment with restlessness? Or vice versa?

and

Are you an idiot?  Why would you want to get a job to pay for someone else to be with your baby?  What job could be more important for you to do than raising your baby? Really, you'd rather put on your best Anthropologie sale get-up and slog into Manhattan to produce image content on subjects as vital as Fall Fashion Must Haves (Surprise! A plaid skirt, a leather jacket, and 16 scarves!) or The Evolution of Donald Trump's Hair Piece??

and

Are those really my only two options? I need to do something or my brain will atrophy. Something stimulating but not stressful. Something creative that I can start and stop at will 15 times a day in between all the cleaning, washing, cooking, folding, nursing, and changing.

Thus far the best I've come up with is sewing - baby rompers and stuffed animals - which is fun but not profitable and makes me feel one evolutionarily step closer to my grandmother in her 80s (minus the scotch).

and

My beautifully joyous and peaceful baby and my wondrous if exasperating 5 year old are in their beds for the night.  We are all safe and comfortable and ensconced in our cozy but well appointed apartment, in our vibrant and familial neighborhood, in our enchanting city, about to wrap up the day with Premium Cable and my darling husband.

I'll grapple with my ambitions tomorrow.

13 July 2015

PRIDE

The First Annual Disability Pride Parade took place in NYC on Saturday. It was hot as blazes but scores of people of every degree of ability walked and rolled in support of better access, greater resources, and louder voices.

I like to think that "Pride" stands not only for a refusal to be ashamed or silent about disability, but as with a pride of lions, a family of people of all ages and strengths looking out for each other.  And as there isn't a single one of us that will escape needing to be cared for at some point in our lives, it behooves us all to protect our pride when we are best able to do so.

Extreme Kids was out in full effect, wisely outfitted with colorful parasols. 

Hilt Projects contributed cut-out signage.  Thanks Sam!

Extreme Kids founder Eliza and Director Caitlin

Felix came all the way down from New Hampshire to participate

Maeve and her dad waiting for the parade to get going

The parasols were key to keeping cool

Spray bottles helped too

Ready to roll

The parade was in honor of the 25th Anniversary if the Americans with Disabilities Act

The homemade signs were bold...

...And seriously on point

It was a pretty inspiring scene

These two were in training as service dogs

Love the ears!

So many different groups were represented

Voices were heard in so many different ways

Many different languages were spoken

SAG-AFTRA (the actors unions) represented (shout out to my dad!)

The heat necessitated some breaks

And then on we marched

The march ended in Union Square

Eliza, Felix, Happy

Eliza and her muse

Abby
I wish I knew this little girls name!!

Extreme Kids and CREW!