Things that Have Happened in the Last Several Months that are Arguably Worth Sharing

Sep 17

when i don’t write something down i forget it almost immediately to the point where it is often debatable as to whether or not anything actually occurred…

here’s my best attempt at getting you (and me) back on track:

mushroom barley

i have cooked VERY little since getting knocked up and paleo…who?  this kiddo is being nourished by bagels and pepperoni pizza alone.  but i did make this awesome batch of musroom barley soup and it was delicious.  totally worth the time and effort (really i just dumped it all in the slow cooker).  tasted just like what i was craving from THE DAILY GRILL in brentwood.  hit.the.spot.  i think i may whip this up again later this week.

copilot 33902

EBN and i spent almost two weeks on the east coast in august, with ABN joining us for the last few days.  who knew?  not many.  i was feeling pretty craptastic the entire time i was away but she loved every minute – starting with her turn as copilot on our flight.  while i cowered in a hoodie with my seabands securely in place, EBN was an absolute angel (and i don’t use that word lightly) on the flight – watching dora, playing with her many travel treats and taking an almost 2 hour nap.  i was (and am) a very lucky mama.

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daddyebnreading

howtodealwithatoddler

sunsetstroll

there is no doubt, westport is the place for a toddler to spend her summer vacay.  what with a weekly free kid’s concert in the park, daily beach or pool time, baking with P’pa, special time with Daddy, endless rounds of candyland with Nani and a different ice cream destination each and every night – i’d say she was pretty much in heaven.  she can pronounce connect-ti-cut like a pro and can’t wait to go back to eat corn with “sticks.”

 

crochetsquares

like everything else in my life right now, my crocheting has slowed down too. it’s sad because i enjoy it so much but when i finally have time to sit down, i usually fall asleep. lame. i am making slow progress on EBN’s blanket for her big girl room (pictured above, i’ve made 7 squares at this point and by rough calculations i need either 25 or 30 so…i’ve got a ways to go). i’ve also been (mostly) keeping up with my 52 granny square challenge blanket as well, although i realized i’ll need 81 to finish so i best get cracking.

newhair
i cut off all my hair :)

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headlamp 34999

yep, it’s true.  we went camping.  clearly this was something that i agreed to before i found out i was spawning but i’m a woman of my word (and ABN has really gotten the short end of the stick recently.  i mean, i’m so not myself and if someone’s needs aren’t met it’s almost always him.  i felt like bucking up and taking this one for the team was a pretty easy way to show him he’s loved).

while camping might not come naturally to me (especially with the absence of booze – achem), i’d say my little one took to it like a fish to water.  she insisted on wearing her headlamp morning, noon and night, slept like a rock (on top of me) and especially loved the tasty treats we had in store (hot chocolate and s’mores being the highlight).  truthfully we all had a great time and with a few small changes i think we could all get into it.  there is one funny story involving a raccoon and a bag of potato chips (not ours) which ABN recounts especially well, with sound effects.  if you run into him on the street it’s worth a retelling.

to show how impressed ABN was by my camping prowess, he came home and that very night, ordered our new basement tv!  EBN and i are now waiting at home for its delivery.  next up – basement floors should be finished this week and we can start transitioning next weekend – stay tuned!

 

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I Drive My Kiddo 30 Minutes to Preschool – and I Wouldn’t Have it Any Other Way

Sep 16

omg this blog might kill me – DRAMA. this should have posted earlier today but there were issues that i can’t explain because i don’t understand :) . i’m sure there are hiccups and i’m sorry.

1st, i realize that i’m back after ANOTHER blogging break. while i could easily blame it on the spawn that is slowly growing in my tummy*, my excuse (this time) is that our server has been down for the last two weeks. if i had bitched and complained about this problem more i’m pretty sure that ABN would have gotten around to repairing the issue more quickly but truth is, napping is a much higher priority even than bitching so…we’re just up and running now.

moving on…

preschool

i think i’ve mentioned our plan to send EBN to a jewish preschool before. i feel like there are a lot of preconceived plans/ideas/ideals that we bring to the table before having kids (“my kiddo won’t have plastic toys” and “i’ll make my own baby food” were just a few of mine that were thrown out the window before leaving the hospital). but some of these “plans” we hold on to a bit tighter and for us (or me) jewish preschool was one of those. no.matter.what. so what if we live 30 minutes (in rush hour traffic) from the synagogue. who cares if there is no carpool. and the fact that there are a slew of good preschools in our neighborhood – i still wouldn’t budge.

i had my doubters (and in the last few weeks leading up to the start of school, when i was feeling my early-pregnancy worst – i even doubted myself). but after exactly 3 4 days of school (at just an hour and a 20 minutes each – apparently some kids take time to adjust – ha!), i’m absolutely certain that we’ve made the right decision.

not only is EBN loving school (today as we pulled into the parking lot she said exactly those words) but she’s spending time a few times a week in the jewish environment that our lives have been lacking over the last several years. i’m not just talking about our move to pacifica – the truth is ever since we left the east coast we’ve really struggled to find and establish our own jewish community. part of that is that we had a truly idealized situation in boston (you know, where our best friend was also our rabbi) and i got used to feeling special. it was hard for me to be just one of many and to not have a real place.

in the last week though, it’s felt like we’re at the beginning stages of finding a really wonderful community for our family. the kids are adorable, the school is everything i could ask for and more and the other mamas seem pretty great as well.

in addition, one of my very closest friends from college (and a fellow redhead to boot) has moved to the area (during my blogging hiatus – hence, no update until now) with her sweet family. i can’t tell you what it means to have a real bestie who happens to be at the same stage in life. i love her kid. i love her husband. we all fit together quite well. to make things even more better (because that’s a thing) she’s a rabbi which means i’m back to having my own personal on-call clergy just a town or two away – which happens to be my preferred way of life.

i still feel like i’m lacking a spiritual home – the truth is that in my list of priorities that need is no where near the top. one day, maybe, but for now, i’ll take my very happy little girls singing, “i’ve got that shabbat feeling,” at the top of her lungs.

* we have a revised due date for bbn2. the reasoning is super technical and confusing and has to do more with me being a space case than with anything else. turns out the kiddo will cook just a few days longer (the doctor didn’t seem to think i would mind when she pushed things back by 4 days but as someone who has been there – 4 days is gonna feel like an eternity). we’re now expecting bbn2 on march 7th which seems fitting as it was the REAL NANI’s birthday. what could be better?

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Are You Out There? Can You Here Me?

Aug 29

i swear, it was not my intention to take a month off from blogging (and that was after more than a few mostly quiet weeks).  it’s just…these things happen…when you’re pregnant.

long time readers will remember that the last time i took an extended blog holiday was when EBN was gestating.  back then i was pretty sure that this “parasite” as i so loving referred to her, was eating away at any creative juices that i had flowing.  this time seems to be no different (apart from my weekly granny challenge squares, there has been little crochet action as well) although i’m pretty convinced that the end product will be a baby, as i’ve been down this road before and know the ropes.

as my mom had warned me (thank god i listened), turns out, i’m quite fertile and so before we were even able to give it the real, true bn try (ABN is still feeling a little like he got the short end of the stick) i found myself noticing the tell-tale signs – that is, if the universal signs of pregnancy are lack of blogging, feeling the need to chew gum, and your kiddo commenting (loudly) on the size of your boobs.

obviously there are a million stories to tell including the time that EBN told our contractor that we were getting a new baby, weeks before we had told anyone (including EBN) that i was pregnant.  his eyes sorta bugged out, not sure exactly what to say, until i quickly (with pink cheeks) explained that we had ordered her a new baby doll and it was on it’s way from amazon.  she now things all babies come from amazon…not gonna tell her otherwise.

instead of attempting to back track, i’ll stick to a few FAQs:

how far along – and when is this baby set to arrive?: 

we’re 14 weeks (what can i say, time flies when you’re in disbelief!) and BBN2 should hit land around march 3rd.

how have you been feeling?:

mostly like ass – thanks for asking.  there has been less puking than there was the last time i did this, but not less nausea.  and i’m just so tired.  like, it hurts to breathe, stops me in my tracks, if i’m not in bed and sleeping i’m pretty miserable, kind of tired.  i don’t remember this from the last time around.  i feel like i’m being a bad mom to EBN because i have no energy to do anything ever.  and her new mantra is, “mommy, are you tired?”.  swamp mouth has also made it’s return with this pregnancy and the only cure seems to be filling my mouth with pizza at all hours.  i’m not complaining, i swear.  i get that i don’t do pregnancy well which i think is sorta weird considering i’ll basically be on death’s door before i admit i’m sick.  i guess we all have our weaknesses.

does EBN know:

uh, yeah.  considering she has been asking me if i’m pregnant (her words) for the last 6 months, we decided we had to tell her, after we told basically everyone else (girlfriend can’t keep her mouth shut).  she wakes up each morning and announces that there is a baby in my tummy and that she can’t see it yet but that it will grow and grow and then it will be tall.  i think she gets it like zero.  and she has no clue that her world is gonna change in a maaaaaaaajor way.

are your parents moving to CA?:

no – and i’m as shocked as you are.  somehow, in the back of my mind, i always assumed that with the arrival of bbn2 they would pack their bags and settle in wine country so that they could babysit on tuesdays and we’d have a weekend escape – pretty good plan, eh?  but it doesn’t seem like this fantasy is going to happen.  having just gotten back from two weeks in westport, i sorta get it (not really, because nothing trumps EBN but still) as life there, at least in august, seems pretty perfect with its free outdoor concerts, beach sand that is swept nightly and enough ice cream/frozen yogurt variety for EBN to taste test a different location each night of our trip.  but still…

will you find out sex?  do you have a name?:

no. no.

hey, aren’t you in the middle of a giant construction project?  how’s that going?:

honestly, it’s going really well.  you can imagine that when i found out we were expecting, after nearly passing out in disbelief, my first reaction was thank goodness we started the construction earlier than we had planned.  if we were just gearing up to start the project in november, i would be shitting a brick, quite literally.  but instead, we’re just about done.  the carpet is to be installed in the guest room tomorrow and the cement floors should get their coat of polish early next week.  then the fun starts as we begin to transition rooms (slowly) and i get to decorate!  as part of the deal EBN will be moving into her big girl room, just in time for her birthday.  she’s obsessed with sleeping in a real, big bed and asks the contractor if he’s done yet on a daily basis.

now that your news is out, are planning to start blogging again?:

i’d like to – but know i better than to make any ridiculous promises.  with EBN i blogged on and off throughout the pregnancy and then started blogging again in earnest when she was about 10 months old.  it means there isn’t a great record of her first few months.  i’d like to write more this time around both for posterity and because i’m healthier when i’m writing.  but we’ll just have to see how it goes.

that’s our news…

more at some point

xo,

LBN

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From Here to There…From There to Here….

Aug 01

we’re alive and well – let’s just refer to this slow time period as “summer blogging.”  it’s not that we’ve been busy but our schedule isn’t as fixed as we are used to (which is probably a good thing at times) and when our routine is thrown off, well, blogging falls by the way side.

some summertime updates.

  • i can’t get enough of the above photo of EBN.  she truly was a flower-throwing pro at the wedding last month.  loved how seriously she took her responsibility – holding my hand tightly as we walked down the aisle and then every so often we’d stop and she’d let go and grab a big handful of flower petals to throw – straight down.  throughout the day people kept trying to move her curl out of her face but really, it’s her signature look.
  • i’m about to finish beautiful ruins and while it took me a couple of chapters to get into, i’m really enjoying it.  it’s a fun and at times surprising story about characters that are fully realized.  i once had a writing teacher (god, when i used to take writing seriously) who argued that if a book changed perspective throughout ( you know, like who was telling the story) it means the author didn’t really have enough to say.  i held this to be true for quite some time but i’m beginning to change my thinking – i loved the different voices and how the true story unraveled.
  • i bought these shoes from the boy’s section at target.  go ahead and judge me but at $16.99 i’m in love.  and they are so comfortable.  EBN is the proud owner of these sparklers.

  • i’ve never been a girl who rocks an updo (even at our wedding, it was just down with loose curls) but given the temperature in chicago in july and my massive amount of hair i new it needed to be all up if i stood a prayer of not wilting.  well, i’m a convert.  i want my hair to look like this on the regular.  also, this photo was taken on saturday.  my hair had not been washed since wednesday, before i left the west coast.  just saying…
  • EBN has become a somewhat regular movie goer this summer.  in addition to taking in monsters university when my parents were in town (every morning, without fail, she wakes up to tell me she dreamed about a very nice monster who lives in her closet) we’ve hit up a couple of the $1 movies in a special summer series.  i’m telling you, it’s the best $2 activity of all time.  it’s (somewhat) quiet, comfortable, relaxing and entertaining.
  • Orange is the New Black – are you watching?  i zipped through the first season in less than a week and can’t believe there won’t be more until next year.  what’s a girl to do to get her crazy eyes fix? (clearly, my favorite).

alright, that’s enough of a update from me.  i’ll be back soon.

xo,

LBN

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A Family that Hikes Together

Jul 23

followed by some hot chocolate and a bagel.  sounds pretty good to me.

this sunday, mother’s day came in july as i got to sleep in and the rest of my sweet family vacated the house, almost quietly.  it’s hard to believe that ABN can still carry EBN – but they were both into it as i think the faces and hats (i love the exchange in the 2nd to last photo) suggest.

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Perfectly Pampered

Jul 22

if EBN were to have a fatal flaw – it would be her inability to allow for her nails to be cut.  this is nothing new.  girlfriend has been terrified of it, fingers and toes, since she was just a wee thing.  it’s possible she has good reason – there was this one incident when i perhaps cut off the very tip of one finger – but that was a life time ago and i figure if i can get passed it (i can’t), she should be able to as well.

anyway, cutting nails is more than a fight, it is an all out, bodies on the floor, tears from all parties, battle of wills.  and guess who wins?  every time.

there’s only one way to get the job done – spa day.

like any girl i know, she likes to be pampered.  so saturday i pulled out all the stops – the nails had reached epic proportions, it was getting dangerous for everyone involved.

when she woke up from her nap i escorted her to her spa chair where she rested her hands in two bowls of warm soapy water as she watched some fairy movie.  i laid out all the colors she had to choose from and fed her chocolate chips for each nail clipped.  i lotioned her feet and legs after soaking her toes as well.  rainbow on her toenails and grand old flag colors for her fingers – big surprise.

now if i could only get someone to do this for me…we’d be set.

 

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Patience Paid Off

Jul 17

i waited a full year for this gem of a dress to come back in stock!

never has there ever been a dress i’ve loved more.  i just hope it fits – otherwise all that waiting will have proved quite pointless.  i can’t wait to wear the heck out of it.

happy hump day!

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I Read A Book!

Jul 16

i’ve made no secret of the fact that this year, reading has been slow going.  it’s ridiculous for me to even set goals – it’s as if i’m setting myself up to fail.  remind me not to do that again (said the girl who just started a 52 week crochet challenge).  anyway, i was driving home several weeks ago and was listening to fresh air.  i like to imagine that terry gross is my own personal guru.  she keeps me in the know – although, somehow when listening to her recent interview of peggy olson, errrr, elisabeth moss, i somehow missed the entire section where it was revealed that she is a scientologist.  tra-vest-y.  but i digress.

on this particular day, terry was interviewing an author about her new book about adoption and struggles with infertility, based on the author’s own personal experience.  sounds right up my alley.  i immediately requested it from my library (plug!).

the mothers, written by jennifer gilmore (brandeis grad!), tells the story of jesse and her husband ramon as they travel the winding road that is open adoption.  it’s hard to read at times – the raw emotions that the author must have personally experienced, come through.  i found that jesse was a difficult character to sit with.  i’ve worked in the world of infertility so i’ve encountered literally hundreds of women doing everything in their power (and out of their power) to become mothers.  at times, i found her extremely unlikeable – but her story was a story that i encountered before.  she made me uncomfortable.  which made her quite real.

the parts that didn’t hold as much value, in my mind, were the parts that i’m guessing were the most fictionalized.  there’s a side story about a lesbian couple that ramon and jesse meet through the adoption process.  and another about jesse’s traveling, vagabon sister.  eh.  i could have done without both.  the vignettes of the birth mothers, their complexities and, at times, conspiracies, provided more than enough drama and intrigue.  and of my clients and friends who have gone the route of open adoption – these tales were not surprising.

what i loved about this book is that it’s a peek into a world that no one talks about.  so many families struggle to have kids, whether through adoption or fertility treatments or both.  i think this book provides the opportunity people to begin to talk about their truths and share their stories.

next up, love, dishonor, marry, die; cherish, perish.  it arrived today and i’m pretty freaking excited.

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The Way We Were

Jul 15

in getting ready for our basement reno ABN moved his office into my office.  for the next several weeks it will serve as storage for both of us, much more than a work space that meets either of our needs.  in the process of moving, ABN came across a few large files containing memories from our early years.

apparently, i used to be a different kind of wife/fiance/girl friend.  and while i have very limited recollection of this extended period of time, there’s physical evidence to prove it.  lots of physical evidence.

i wrote love notes.  long, detailed, poetic love notes.  i’d leave them next to the bed, tuck them into his suitcase, and slip them into the mail.  i decorated the apartment with posters of encouragement during the long months leading up to the completion of his dissertation.  it should be noted i was also freaking hilarious, with tag lines like, “he’s bringing sexy back….to computer science,” and “in the wise words of rabbi hillel, ‘if not now, when?’”.  i made personalized birthday gift certificates for breakfast in bed, movies of his choice and eye ball massages (i vaguely remember that being a thing) and an itinerary made out of a construction paper collage and color print outs for our first trip to LA.

all of this leaves me thinking the following:

1. i clearly used to have way to much time on my hands

2. did i ever work? – because i sure put that color printer we had in the office to good use

and 3. i sorta miss that girl

i’m not crazy.  i know i’m not the same person, in the same place.  not only do i not have time or energy to create massive art installations (after, i’m raising a human), i realize i don’t spend my days thinking about being in love.  and i used to.   i’m just as in love with him now as i was back then, but so often, we’re rushing and running and before i have the chance to acknowledge what i’m thinking about feeling, the moment has passed and i’m picking squished spinach patty off the floor.

so yeah – the love notes are making a return.  most likely not in quantity but hopefully it’s the thought that counts.  (and some times, it might be in the form of a special dessert – because EBN likes to bake and what better way to show love than with sweet treats).

and with all that, we’re off to home depot, to pick bathroom tiles because that’s how we roll.

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She Kicks!

Jul 10

growing up, my dad travelled a fair amount for work.  nothing like my father-in-law who has something like 7 international trips scheduled before the end of 2013, but a few times a year, he’d go away on business for a week at a time.  when my mom was alone with my brother and me, i remember extra dinners with my nani and eddie, swim dates at my grandma and papa’s and most of all, sleeping in my mom and dad’s bed – with my mom.

as i was a little girl, i’d go to bed much earlier than my mom.  we had our routine down pat.  i’d fall asleep in my own bed, and then when my mom was ready for bed, after brushing her teeth and doing her nighttime reading, she’d come into my room, wake me, and i’d follow her in a half-haze upstairs.

so with ABN out-of-town, i thought maybe it was time that EBN and i re-instate the tradition ourselves.  i got home from late-night crochet, brushed my teeth, read the arts and entertainment section of the new york times (have you all pre-ordered your copy of david rakoff’s final book?), and turned out the lights.  i wandered into EBN’s room and after a little tapping and prodding she cuddled into me as i carried her back to my room.  she was asleep again before her head hit the pillow and as i climbed under the covers myself i thought, this is nice, this is sweet, this is good.

then the kicking started.  she may be small but she is mighty and feisty and as she slumbered i did everything i could to avoid her relentless attacks.  at about 6am, after hours of non-stop moving she finally settled in the crux of my arm, with her head on my chest, snoring softly, sweating slightly.  i closed my eyes until i couldn’t hold the pee any longer and squeezed out of bed, hoping she’d stay snoozing.  when i returned she was sitting up straight – “hi mommy!”

i’m sure we’ll try again – but tonight, she sleeps on her own.

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