When They Say it’s 5 O’clock Somewhere, I Don’t Think They Mean THIS 5 O’clock…

yellow thing dino 24119 it’s 5:17 on saturday morning, and apart from my coffee drip, drip, dripping into the pot, and happy babbles and a chorus of toots from this guy – the house is quiet.  so while it is ungodly early, and i didn’t spend nearly enough hours in my bed last night (stayed up an hour later than i should have, comforted a little girl who had a few too many nightmares) i’m pretty content. photo 4 24119 things are on an upswing (which, considering the crap-tastic day we had yesterday means i’m either eternally optimistic – um, no – or a few weeks ago it was really really really bad). the baby is crying a whole lot less and smiling a whole lot more. EBN is learning to swim.  ABN is taking great care of all of us – really how he gets up and works a full day, makes an extra effort to spend time with each of the kiddos and then deals with ME (clearly, the biggest challenge), i will never know.  and i’m running – for as far and for as long as possible.  because it is my only time truly alone.  and so it is my favorite time.  which is insane . hashtag 24119 it is quite possible that Z is the very cutest baby of all time – rivaled by only EBN.  we make cute (and round) babies.  stam.  too bad we are done.  as some random guy in an elevator remarked, its like he’s storing nuts in his cheeks for winter.  his cheeks weigh his entire head down and so he’s got some stevie wonder head bobbing moves.  he loves to be held (i mean, who doesn’t) and worn (thank you bjorn with lumbar support) but will tolerate direct and constant eye contact while talking AND playing as an alternative (which is why it is now 5:57 and i’ve written 3 paragraphs).  basically it’s easier to mostly never put him down. he is obsessed with his sister.  no one can make him smile like her, no one can distract him like her, and no can manhandle him like her.  it’s insane.  her hands, lips and feet (uh huh) are constantly on him.  if i was a better mom i’d probably work with her on personal space but for now (until he gets sick), i’m picking my battles (as long as she isn’t covered in ketchup and peanut butter – i live in fear of her giving him a spoonful of yogurt). photo 5 24119 speaking of EBN – omg, who is this kid?  all of a sudden my baby who at 28 months still would sit down on her tush to scoot rather than risk walking down a stair, is learning to ride her bike, becoming a fish in the pool and going down the big slides at pump it up.  clearly, not my child (hi, i was 10 when i learned how to ride a bike and it was only because i was finally shamed into it because my baby brother could do it so well).  yes, she’s ALWAYS been super social and friendly and the life of the party but physically she was timid and reserved (like me).  well, those days are over.  and with the extra scrapes and bruises comes one very happy, and exhausted, little-big girl. photo 3 24119 she finished her 1st year of preschool on monday – and what a year it has been.  i get all teary thinking about (it’s hormones, i’m also already losing my pregnancy hair – i swear the extra thick hair is the one part of pregnancy that i look forward too) but it has been such a good year.  yes, i’m pretty sure i could drop EBN off at jail and she’d walk in waving at the guards with a bounce in her step and a smile on her face – but she really found a second home at the temple.   i like to call her the mayor, as she greets her supporters each morning.  during this year of change in our family, when at times i was a less than stellar mom, she got the extra love and attention from school.  and i (mostly) kept my sanity.  luckily she is sticking with it this summer.  we have a two week break right now – and i think we are all ready to be on the other side of it.  of us BNs thrive with a more regular schedule.  sorry kids, pretty sure i’m responsible for that. photo 2 24119 we’ve been spending lots of time with pacifica friends too.  i really don’t know what i would have done without our community here.  i mean, holy crap.  not only do we live in the most beautiful place but i’m pretty convinced we are surrounded by some of the very best people.  with family so far away, i’ve come to rely on a small group of women.  and EBN has these amazing buddies who she gets to grow up with.  again, i get a bit teary but we look forward to being part of this community for a long time. alright, the house is starting to stir (that’s how long this post has taken) and i’m thinking Z might be getting ready for a nap, or to eat, or at least he seems to be over the “play with your rattle” portion of the morning.  just don’t wake your sister dude.

And Then There Were 4

disclaimer: i’m not really back.  i’m just writing now.  and that’s something.  maybe i’ll come back regularly, maybe sometimes, maybe never.  in the last 6 weeks i’ve learned to expect the unexpected.  but i need a place to write it all down and this still, in some weird way, feels like the best option.  i’m keeping a regular journal – just a line a day – which is all i can really take on right now, but sometimes a line just isn’t enough…

bris family

we’re 6 weeks into this whole 2 kid thing.  and 1 week in to doing it on our own, sans nani and p’pa.  honestly, it feels like they left a lifetime ago.  how can a week go so quickly with little room for record or memory and at the same time, how can a week ago feel so very far away?  i blame lack of sleep.  when in doubt, it’s probably lack of sleep.

things are going.  and honestly, i am happy (this has a lot to do with the wine i am drinking and the fact that i finally made my return to the hot tub after a 10 month hiatus).  i look from EBN to Z to ABN and i think – these are my people.  this is who i am supposed to have in my corner.  i didn’t feel like we were missing someone before Z was born – but i do feel like we are who we are supposed to be as a family now.  i just wish we were a family that cried a little less :)

Z cries a lot.  i think all babies do.  well, not all babies, but a lot of babies.  my dad insists i didn’t cry.  i also apparently never had a bottle which is impossible since i was doing overnights at my nani and eddie’s from the ripe old age of 9 months.  but he insists.  i think it’s a bit of a selective memory but maybe that means i won’t remember all the crying we’ve experienced over the last few weeks – doubtful.

the crying is hard but i can deal with it.  i am glad that Z is kiddo #2 because if he had been kiddo #1 i think this crying would have freaked me out.  i’m not freaked out.  i’m tired.  i’m sad that he is sad, or uncomfortable or just doing what babies do.  whatever it is, it makes me sad that he cries.

EBN has been incredible through it all.  she doesn’t like his crying and deals with it in her own way – by running into her room, by covering her ears, by saying, “baby ezra, it’s okay,” or “mommy, my baby is crying,” – duh.  but when he’s not crying – she loves on him like no other.  it’s crazy – he can be screaming his head-off and she can be screaming right along with him (because that happens too) and then i will calm him down and she’ll immediately kiss him and say, “my baby is so cute.”  unconditional love.

the house is full of constant noise.  crying, toddler chatter (and neediness).  there is no escape – and honestly, i feel bad for wanting to escape.  and for my reaction at times.  EBN has gotten the short end of the stick over the last few weeks (although balance that with an awful lot of chocolate) and i’ve found myself tiptoeing into her room to apologize for snapping, for swearing, for slamming a door, for attending to Z instead of her.  this has been the hardest part.

we’re working on a schedule.  and trying to soothe his gas.  he gives the very best smiles.  and has cheeks that could sustain him for weeks.  and he can hold his head up like a champ (seriously, he’s gotta have the strongest neck muscles around).

i realize that attitude, while not everything, counts for an awful lot.  we’re doing great over here.  seriously.  the 4 of us are doing awesome and i’m 99% sure things are only going to get better.

but still, this shit is hard.

The 2nd Time Around

29 weeks

when i was pregnant with EBN, i was nervously excited each step of the way.  sure, i hated the morning sickness, the swamp mouth, the weight gain, the general discomfort – but – at the same time – i looked forward to my weekly emails from babycenter discussing the growth of the fetus.  i made list after list of all the details that needed to be in place before BBN arrived.  we read books and took classes and took photos (even if i didn’t share them) documenting the growth of that enormous tummy.

this time around is different.

i’m not nervous.  i’m not super excited.  sometimes i feel like i forget i’m pregnant (well, except for the fact that i have near constant heartburn and it’s a struggle to tie my shoes), and rather, my life is just restricted in these really ridiculous ways and i have this ever present, general discomfort.  rather than making lists of potential baby names, ABN and i have decided to not give it another thought until after the new year.  instead of heading to babies r us and getting the new changing pad (i’m pretty sure each kid deserves a fresh changing pad), i’m schlepping EBN to the dentist and preschool and crocheting gifts for upcoming winter birthdays and updating our 2014 budget and just generally otherwise occupied.

there is one thing that is the same though – i wish my mom lived closer.  i remember having this intense feeling at about the 3-month-out mark with EBN too.  i know it’s partially hormones (hence the tears), partially that life feels unorganized and my mom is the queen of list making and a pro at throwing shit out, and partially just that at times like these (when i’m  fat, hairy, feeling icky and unlovable) my mom is really the only person that i want within a 30ft radius.

i should add that while all i want is my mom, ABN has been doing a stellar job (especially dealing with the fat, hairy, feeling icky parts).  since thanksgiving (and yes, that was like 3 weeks ago) i’ve been sick with a cold that won’t quit and then EBN caught it too and throughout it all, ABN was the only one left standing.  taking wakeup and bedtime duty ++ multiple days in a row.  (it’s been so long since i visited this space that there has been no mention of ABN throwing his back out – probably best to simply move along).  this am, in one of my weaker moments, he offered to take the morning off but the truth is – i’m fine.  i just want my mom.

xo,

LBN

Currently…

castle

loving: our finished basement!  we finally finished moving the furniture and setting things up just so – and while we still need to hang artwork throughout the house, the space is feeling ready to be lived and really, really well loved.  i’m way overdue with before and after photos (did i even remember to snap before photos?  it’s questionable) but i keep switching things up, sewing an extra throw pillow, adding one more detail.  i’m loving the sealed concrete floors with throw rugs, the bright yellow pipe against the whitest of white walls and the addition of EBN’s castle.  we brought it down from her bedroom (after doing a long overdue stuffed creature purge), added a couple of warm blankets, a special korean pillow, some twinkle lights and her much loved bunting.  a special place for a truly special little girl.

reading: i’m super late to the party on this one but i finally picked up LOVING FRANK.  while i’m enjoying parts of the story, and the history and the writing style, and i get a kick out of old oak park references (ABN grew up surrounded by frank lloyd wright homes), i can’t get over this woman leaving her children in hopes of a relationship.  i hate her.  i don’t want to hate her – but i do.  like, a lot.  i’ve found this to be true recently when reading/watching other stories of adultery.  i just can’t get over the abandonment and the idea of a mother putting her own needs so dramatically before those of her kids.  i’m not saying she should stay in an unhappy marriage.  i just can’t reconcile walking way from the kids.  leaves me feeling itchy and scratchy.

anticipating: can we just go with november?  it’s a super big, jam packed month for us.  in many ways the crazy has already started what with the inlaws visiting in 24 hour spurts for 3 weeks in a row, halloween, a visit by my parents, a family trip to disneyland, EBN’s blowout grand old flag birthday (more on that soon), thanksgiving, a left over pie party, chanukah and…when does one breathe/grow a baby?  all of these things are fun and good and full of celebration.  i’m just saying, come december 1 – we’re all going to need  a major nap.

watching: in my old age, i’ve discovered PBS.  in addition to downton i’ve gone on a CHECK, PLEASE! BAY AREA binge and now i’m watching CALL THE MIDWIFE.  you guys, it’s so good.  i’ve always had a thing for nuns (sister act) and i think i have a new thing for period dramas.  it’s smart and interesting and surprising but not solacious (says the girl who just watched 2 seasons of revenge).  if you are in the need for something new, that will keep your attention but won’t keep you up at night, i say check it out.

looking forward to: styling up EBN’s big girl room, finishing up the blanket i’ve been crocheting for her birthday, feeling more BBN2 kicks, beginning to day dream about a baby boy nursery (what?!), cheering for the red sox, a long overdue pizza lunch date, tot shabbat later this week and figuring out creative storage for toddler hair accessories – ideas welcome.

inspiration for these posts come from DANIELLE!

xo,

LBN

Recipe Night: Chopped Salad

this weekend can be wrapped up in two words – yummy food.  we ate so well (2 out of 3 times, not needing to leave our house to enjoy) and thanks go left overs, i’m still reaping the benefits.

it started with our first MUNCHERY order on friday.  i placed the order first thing in the am, moments after dropping EBN off at preschool.  while you have until 2:30pm to place a same day order, i had noticed previously that some of the options sold out as the day progressed and i wanted to make sure we got what our hearts desired.  ABN ordered a ginger carrot soup to start, followed by lamb, while i chose fresh papparadelle pasta with wild mushrooms.  the doorbell rang at promptly 5pm and our delivery included two freshly baked chocolate chip cookies to celebrate our first order (a big hit with EBN).  the entire bill, including delivery fee and tip was $35 and we both had enough leftovers to enjoy as a 2nd meal.  i can’t remember the last time we had such good take out/delivery (especially since i’m refraining from sushi these days) and there is no way the price could be better.  i’ve downloaded the app and plan to make semi-frequent use of MUNCHERY in the coming months.

saturday night, ABN’s dad was in town for 24 hours and so got a babysitter and headed down to san mateo to enjoy one of our very favorites – ALL SPICE.  from our very first visit we knew that it would be a hit with ABN’s dad who appreciates good food like no one else, and the night did not disappoint.  i enjoyed a stuffed pumpkin that was TDF to the extreme.  and i didn’t share my butter cake at the end of the meal.  not even one bite.

finally, late sunday afternoon, as EBN watched mary poppins, i found myself perusing instagram.  my brother had posted a photo of a LA SCALA PRESTO chopped salad that stopped me in my tracks.  what the what?  i know for a fact, that very salad can ONLY be procurred in LA while my brother is 3000 miles away in nyc.  someone needs to start explaining.  turns out, after some rapid text exchanging, he had stumbled upon a long lost recipe.  after sending ABN to the store to collect ingredients (do not pass go, do not collect $200), i remembered that i already had the recipe!  my parents included it in the CAN YOU MAKE IT COOKBOOK they produced as a shower gift, 6 years ago!  i’d attempted the salad once or twice before and while good – there was always something a bit off.  and all that damn chopping.  leave it to my brother to discover the secret – use your cuisinart – on the pulse setting.  the result was EVERYTHING i could have asked more and more.

RECIPE NIGHT: CHOPPED SALAD

chopped salad

serves: 6 – this is bullshit.  it serves 3…but only if you have the strength to cut yourself off

ingredients:

salad:

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 head romain
  • 1/4 lb of italian salami
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 15oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • grated parmesan

dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 Tb red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

get ready, this is the easiest and most delicious recipe…ever.

chop your lettuce in the cuisinart.  i found this works best in small batches and on the pulse setting.  anything else leaves you with a pulpy, wet mess.  next, place your salami in the cuisinart and pulse away.  add beans and mozzarella to the salad.

time to whip up your dressing.  mix all ingredients well and pour over salad.  i find that salad is best if you pour the dressing and then wait at least 15 minutes before serving.  this allows for everything to combine just perfectly.  top with additional parm.

there are many additions/variations to this recipe.  the REAL NANI always added chopped fresh tomatoes and turkey.  others have been known to opt for tuna.  but, like my EDDIE before me, i’m a purest and won’t mess with the original.  best served with warm french bread, and eaten in bed followed by ice cream and raspberries (i’ll explain that part in another post).

 

Dig, Dream, Drool

bars

i’ve been making an effort to make use of our post-nap time.  EBN is a late napper and goes to bed on the late side as well.  while our mornings are jam-packed (now with preschool in addition to other activities) i’ve struggled to figure out what to do with the time from 5pm til dinner time around 6:30.  i’m often too sleepy to nap but if i can rally, we take a walk around the neighborhood.  on mondays we’ve been meeting a friend to play on the jungle gym while her kiddo has soccer practice.  there have been underwear only popsicles parties in the backyard and pumpkin painting too.  we’re not perfect – yesterday included 45 minutes of unplanned ipad time, but we’re making progress.

i know it’s been forever since i shared a link post, but it required me to catch up on the internet.  like basically everything else in life, i’ve fallen behind.  that being said, here’s my latest attempt:

one of the mamas from EBN’s preschool class posted on facebook that she had ordered dinner from HERE.  1st, how did i not know about this? and 2nd, guess what we’re having for dinner tonight.

i don’t think i’ll feel like our house is complete until we have a GEOMETRIC GLITTER WALL.

one of my biggest pregnancy cravings this time around has been cucumbers – TZATZKI – get in my belly.

also, THESE (maybe for thanksgiving!).

how cute is THIS LAMP?  it would look great in my newly renovated basement.

speaking of crochet…i’m behind on ALL my current projects.  but, i finally found a PATTERN for a baby blanket due in january.

i just put together one of THESE for our guest-room redo.  it was the perfect finishing touch – too cute.  our first guests come this weekend and then it’s pretty non-stop through the end of november.

yep, still totally TERRIFIED.

pretty sure i need THIS.

definitely adding a few titles to my TO-READ list.

i’d love to close my eyes right now but there are 4 guys working on the house (and you thought we were done!) and so i feel like i should probably stay awake and be responsible for something.  this weekend we’ll be continuing to put the house back together and gearing up for 6 weeks of near-constant visitors.

have a great weekend

xo,

LBN

Shock and Awe

so remember a hot second ago when i shared the news of BBN2 with all y’all and assured you that just like last time, we wouldn’t be finding out in advance if the babe was going to be a boy or a girl.  well…we changed our minds.  let’s just call it parental perogative.  here’s how it went down…

basically from the moment i typed those faithful words, i’ve been itching to know.  it’s crazy because with EBN we didn’t even consider finding out and it didn’t bug me one bit.  but this time i just felt like life would be way more organized if i knew what was on its way.  as many of you know EBN has a ton of clothes (i’m talking 6+ large storage bins at this point) and while i’d hang on to them for a baby girl, i’d get rid of the majority super quickly if BBN2 had little boy parts.  obviously this could be done post-delivery, but wouldn’t it be easier to get it done…now?  and there was EBN who was certain-er than certain that the baby growing in her mama’s belly was a baby boy and than there was her mama who was almost as certain that BBN2 was bound to be a girl (i was pretty rough on my parents as a teen and rationalized that the appropriate payback would be two teenage girls who hated me…because that’s the way the world usually works).  regardless of the reasons, i went back and forth (and whined) quite a bit until ABN rationally said, “you know, we could just find out.”  sold.

so you wanna know?

while my brother rationalized that the chances was 50/50 either way, i’m still pretty shocked to share that EBN was right all along!  BBN2 is all boy (oddly, the response from many has been – awesome, now you’re done!  just to be clear – the shop was going to closed either way).  BBN2 seemed to understand that mama just needed to know because as soon as the tech put her probe on big ol’ belly he showed himself off in ALL his glory.  as if that wasn’t enough he then repeatedly pointed out his goods.

i’m pretty sure this officially means that each and every part of this pregnancy is different from the last time around: no hawaii. different doctor.  different hospital.  different cravings (as i just stuffed my face with a  handful of wasabi peas…what?!?).  and now, a boy.  let the good times roll.