Monday, June 20, 2011

Mermaids, Sand-wiches, Dad's

The weather this weekend was perfect for being outside.  Saturday we made our way to Coney Island for the Mermaid Parade.  It was a trek.  We live in the tip top of Manhattan and Coney Island may as well be in Key West. It took almost 2 hours to get there. I'm not going to lie, we mainly go to see skin. Old skin, tattooed skin, saggy skin, green skin, sparkly skin, blue skin, sea shell skin, hairy skin.  You name it or imagine it and you will see it there. I love NY.  The boy had a blast.  He was acting like a man all day and refused to take what I consider proper naps, but he held his own and made a ton of friends.  You know what he loves? To party. He LOVES to party. There was a band playing on the boardwalk with a group of people dancing, josh took him over to dance and he ATE IT UP.  Not me- it was too crowded and the music was too loud for my old lady ears, but I took pictures with josh's fancy camera.

I've taken the babe to the beach before and he's sat in sandboxes so I thought his sand curiosity was over. I was wrong.  If there is any sand you don't want your kid to eat, it's probably sand on the beach in Coney Island. Side Story-  When I was a kid my grandparents took us to Coney Island and I remember one of them saying we could't go on the beach because it was dirty and then about the same time, I think my Dad (someone- 90% sure it was my Dad 10% it was my Grandma- Cicely, back me up on this) mentioned Coney Island Whitefish and said that Coney Island Beach used to be so dirty that that nickname was well known for the used prophylactics found on the beach.EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.  Well, I think it has cleaned up a bit since the 80's- let's hope. I mean I didn't see any white fish.  Anyway, he was so happy crawling all over the sand then just took a big bite of the sand floor. It didn't even phase him. In fact he did it three more times. Maybe he has a deficiency, like those adults who eat dirt. I'm just chalking it up to being 8 months and curious.
Mermaid Parade Photo dump:


Fathers.  I love my Dad soooooooo much. I can't even fit enough o's to tell you how much I love my Dad. He is wonderful, smart, funny, kind, sweet, strong and a list of other positive attributes.  He set the bar pretty high for my expectations of fathers.  However, I am not surprised that josh has is also the best father around and that bar keeps getting higher and higher.  He is so so so great (for lack of a better word) at being a Dad. Sometimes when I glance over at him with his son my heart overflows with love and gladness.
To celebrate Father's Day, we went to dinner Saturday night at (any guesses where we went?) Vegetarian Paradise and had dessert at Grom.  Someone had their first taste of the lemon gelato.  It may look like he didn't like it, but he kept coming back for more and more tastes. Here is to the best two men in my life. 

me dad and cicely circa 1983

Friday, June 10, 2011

Me then and now- more like a book than a blog...LONG

This is me:

I've never fit into a box. I've wanted to and tried to but could never quite fit all of me into one thing. I'm not sure many people can actually fit into one box.  On the outside it may seem they do, but internally I bet they are busting at the seems.  When I was in elementary school, I thought it was because I had brown curly hair (looking at that pic above, maybe it was because one eye is squinty).  Or that my parents weren't PTA parents (although my Dad or Mom volunteered for nearly every/any field trip we went on. Plus I clearly remember my Dad coming to volunteer to teach my class how to read).  Any time I didn't feel like I fit in, or that it was my turn to be shunned (when you go to tiny school- the group of friends you have or can have are limited) I soul searched for the reason why - as deep as I got was "it must be that I have brown curly hair".  Maybe once it crossed my mind- maybe it was because we were Jewish (grew up in a mountain town with NO other Jewish families around). But when my parents encouraged us to go to Hebrew school, I definitely didn't fit into that box either- I double dipped my apple into honey and was shunned from that time forward. You do NOT double dip your apples- VERY un-Kosher.

Although I was "popular" in elementary school, I was a good person and tried to be nice to the people that weren't in our clique, but when my family moved to Florida at the start of my freshman year in high school, everything changed.  I was now just one of 425 kids in the graduating class of '99.  Had I stayed in Colorado, I would have been one of maybe 60.  Was I popular in Florida? NO!  I was new. I didn't go to one of the three middle schools in the area that defined who you were to be and what you would do in high school.  I remember on my first day of summer school (signed up for summer PE to make friends), when I told a group of peers that I just moved from Colorado a few weeks earlier someone asked me if I knew what waffles were.  Did we have waffles in Colorado. All I could think was "are you serious? you've got to be kidding- this is now my life?"  The next question was just as bad "Did I have a fire place or had I ever seen a fireplace".  Again, I definitely did not fit into any Florida box. Nor could I think it was because I had brown curly hair (a lot of girls there did), or that I was Jewish (our area of the suburbs was nicknamed little Israel).  Here, I knew a little of why- I was not a JAP.  That first day of summer school, I wore boxers, a T-shirt and sneakers (standard gym outfit). I had no make-up on and my brown curly hair was pulled back into a pony tail.  The other girls were wearing jean shorts (Bongo's I bet), tank-tops and sandals (not your standard gym outfit), make-up and heavily ironed or sprayed hair.  Now, I liked to be different. When I turned 16, I did not get a shiny new Honda Civic or an Accord or a Ford Explorer.  My parents bought me and 1988 Volvo 240 GL. and I LOVED that car.  I even had a crank sun-roof. Soon I could not have cared less where or how I fit in. College- no one needs to fit into anywhere in college.  I feel like in college I became a lot of the person I am now and had a lot of experiences that may give my brain reasons for not fitting into where I am now in my life.   That brings me to the point of this post.  I am a working mother, a working wife, a working friend and a working daughter. I have little time to be anything but.

Most of the Mom's I know (locally) are either LDS (Latter-Day Saint) or heavy AP (Attachment Parenting).  In both of those realms; mothers typically aren't employed out of the home.  Sometimes in my brain, this causes conflict and I revert to questioning why I don't fit in a box and why I sometimes feel alienated.

Not being born into the Mormon faith, but later choosing it - I luckily escaped a lot of cultural pressures some of my friends were raised with. To be a wife and mother first before anything else.  This is NOT doctrine. This is culture.  Although the widely distributed The Family: A Proclamation to the World states: "Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation." The church also encourages women to get an education.  President Gordon B. Hinckley, said in a 2007 address to young women "We live in a highly competitive age, and it will only grow more so, education is the key that will unlock the door of opportunity."   In this years General Conference (semi-annual global address to all members for the church from leaders), Quentin L. Cook, one of the Apostles (our church has a living prophet and Apostles) gave a talk about LDS women.  At one point he said "First, no woman should ever feel the need to apologize or feel that her contribution is less significant because she is devoting her primary efforts to raising and nurturing children. Nothing could be more significant in our Father in Heaven’s plan. Second, we should all be careful not to be judgmental or assume that sisters are less valiant if the decision is made to work outside the home. We rarely understand or fully appreciate people’s circumstances." Although this has been touched upon by church leaders, there is still something "different" about being a full time working mother.
Let me tell you about my typical day:
6am Alarm goes off
6:05-6:25- If the babe is sleeping, I slip out of bed and pump milk. If he wakes up, I lie in bed with him while he nurses until he falls back asleep
6:30-6:45- Shower
6:45~7:15- Baby wakes up, lie back down with him nursing him back to sleep
If he doesn't go back to sleep I carry him around with me getting ready until I have to leave
7:20-7:45- Get dressed, wash pump, pack wake-up josh leave for work.
9-5- Work. Meetings, pump, work, more meetings, pump
6:30- 8-Home. Play with the baby, cuddle with baby, feed baby, bathe the baby, read to the baby, love that baby with all that I have.
8:15~9- Baby bed or nap time; his call. Bounce him, read to him, change him lie down with him until he falls asleep.
9:15-10:30- Josh and I make and eat dinner, maybe watch the news
11pm-12am- Computer/Carly time. email, blog, read, think about organizing things and making to do lists.
12:30-1- Get read for bed. Pump again. Go to sleep and do it all again in 5 hours.
Sounds awesome right?  It is. and I'm not even being sarcastic. I love my life. Am I tired? Hell Yeah. Am I happy? Hell Yeah. I am at a place where I even love my job. 
If now was a few years from now and I didn't need/want to work full time, would I? I don't know. I enjoy working, I enjoy working with adults,  I enjoy getting a paycheck, I enjoy spending that paycheck, I enjoy having free health insurance. I enjoy being a smart, independent, successful women. At the same time, I LOVE my son, I LOVE my husband. I enjoy baking for them and cooking for them. I wish i could keep the house clean and laundry washed and take care of them when they are sick and take the boy to the park everyday and take him to museums and play dates, and have other mom friends to go out with at night without our husbands and kids. But when I am at home, the last thing I want to do is go out without my husband and son. I want to spend every single free second with them.
I now feel balanced. Someone once told me that they say to themselves when it comes to parenting "It only has to be good enough". I don't agree.  Good enough does not cut it.  I don't want my kids to say I was "good enough". I want them to say I was everything they could have ever hoped for in a Mom. I know I have a looooooong road ahead of me, but I think I am on the right track.  When I am with my boy, I do what feels natural and they all fit into the basics of Attachment Parenting. Breastfeeding, Co-Sleeping, Baby wearing, being loving and tender.  When I happen to not be working on the third Wednesday of the month I go to API meetings.  The women there are wonderful, thoughtful, knowledgeable, "Earthy", warm...and mostly stay at home moms.   On my AP list serves, most of the posts from working mom's mention feeling guilty about working, having a hard time finding AP friendly child care providers and similar issues. I am so lucky that when I can't be with my son, he is in good great hands.  He spends the mornings with Josh (who is an AMAZING {literally} father)  when possible and the afternoon with women who love him. I am lucky and he is lucky.  Do I feel guilty about working? Sometimes.  Does the guilt last very long? No.

I might not fit into any box.  I might feel alienated from my peers sometimes, but I am OK with that. I have become confident in who I am as a women, a wife, a mother, a friend, a sister and a daughter.  I am brown curly-haired Carly. And that makes me happy.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

friends, roseola, birthday's - all kinds of things

After a bout of Roseola the boy has been recovering slowly.  Saturday he felt a little warm, but we just chalked it up to teething.  He was his happy go lucky self all day, we went to a birthday party in the park (pics below), had a nice dinner and everything seemed fine.  Sunday- went to church he was happy, slept fine, Sunday body was burning up.  Fever ranged from 101 to 103.5. Little sleep (for us both).  Monday- still had the fever, was a little sad and not as engaged with the world as usual and we knew something wasn't right.  Monday night fever was HIGH all night and baby Advil and baby Tylenol did nothing.  We took him to our pediatrician (Dr. Maja Castillo- I really like her), she diagnosed him with Roseola and sure enough today his fever has subsided and he has a bit of a rash.  He has been sleeping like CRAZY.  Yesterday, josh said he slept about 6 hours worth of naps! This is him right now:

Now I'm going to dump a bunch of pictures.  A past New Yorker (and friend) was in town for her husband's dental conference and brought her ridiculously adorable family along for a visit.  A bunch of girls got together  to celebrate her visit Tuesday night at Andrea's.  We had soda, cookies, chatted and did other girly things- it was a lot of fun.  I am lucky enough to know some pretty rad women up here in north Manhattan.

kendra, erin, amy, andrea, debi, katie & abbie

A few months back I met a really nice man on the Subway (i was with the boy, and we started talking about babies- he has a little girl)- Anyway, we are now family friends and went to his daughter's 2nd birthday party in the park.  There was a clown and she made the boy a balloon bee. Dude- I've never seen him so excited about a toy.  If you look at nothing else on this blog, watch this video and the random one after it.
this other random video is the best baby video yet:

Here are other cute baby pics from this weekend:

there are little kids, and then there are tiny kids

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Camera

** This post has been sitting in drafts since Monday.  I was going to change some things and make it a little nicer, but I have no time and no energy.  Now I just want it off my To Do List, so here it is...More pictures to come**

A while back (can't find the old post to reference) I said I wanted to get the Canon S95. Well... I finally bought it this Saturday and so far love it. I haven't had a chance to really learn it's tricks- Josh has told me a few things, but honestly I can't seem to remember the basic rules of aperture vs. F-stops vs. ISO.  I'll get it eventually and then I can feel comfortable taking pictures in the manual setting.  It was hot as ________ all weekend, mostly in the high 80's and it might have even reached 90+.  We spent some time with the Evensen's, McNeil's and Adams just hanging around doing New York parks and what not.  All in all it was a successful Holiday weekend. See?

sometimes I find him kissing himself in the mirror

the only Memorial Day parade in Manhattan goes right by our bedroom

this makes me laugh, cause Sam's legs look like they are the boy's

"I love my friends" - JHM