Sunday, July 25, 2010

First Steps...

Smooshie took his first steps yesterday, and we are taking our first steps in leaving New York. This photo taken this morning sums up how I feel about the daunting task of packing up our life. Overwhelmed.

As for Smooshie's first steps, he was standing by the lamp, holding on. Then he let go of the lamp and was just standing there for quite awhile... then, two little steps over to the sofa! So cute and I am so glad DH and I were there to see it. I don't think he is super interested in taking off into full time walking quite yet, but he is close. :-)

We decided on a Sept. 1st move date so we are selling furniture we don't care about and renting a trailer to bring the rest to store in Tennessee. We somehow have to simultaneously pack up everything, and get the place looking good enough to show renters. I would look better to show empty and with a new coat of paint, but I don't see how that is possible since we can't keep everything in a trailer out on the streets of Brooklyn for 2 weeks! I am really looking forward to taking this as an opportunity to rid myself of excess baggage - clothes, books, trinkets and other things I have dragging around for years and years. I am trying to be Zen, but I guess I am a bit of a hoarder deep down. I have a serious case of "I may need this some day for a shoot!" and I always have.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

10 months!

Mr.Smoosh is 10 months! He celebrated by standing up from sitting without holding on to anything, and stayed standing for about 20 seconds. Of course, when I started freaking out and yaying and clapping he quickly sat back down and crawled away. ;-)
I must say, I am looking forward to him learning to walk, so I can hold his little hand and walk up the 5 flights of stairs together. It is HOT and he is HEAVY!
We saw the DR on Friday and M is holding strong on size - 75th % for weight (23lbs) and 95th % for height. Unfortunately DH had to take him in because he woke up in the middle of the night with a horrible cough. Turns out it is the croup, yuck. :-( He got some medicine and is feeling OK but it is so sad!
We have a lot going on right now and we are making some really big decisions.
Namely, we may actually be leaving NYC. I know I love to complain, but I will really miss our friends and my wonderful play group which has become almost my entire social life and kept me sane. I will miss the precious babies I have known since birth who are now Mason's best friends.
However, this life is ceasing to make sense. We pay a crazy mortgage and live in the most expensive city in the country and why? So DH can play music and adjunct teach for peanuts while he tries to finish his dissertation in between all this craziness in our cramped apartment?
My parents have a summer house in Tennessee that is open to us - plenty of bedrooms, fireplaces, a swimming hole, trails. Even an extra car. DH could write looking over the river in complete serenity while Mr.Man and I go on walks in the woods, swimming at the amazing community center. I also have some family and friends there. I could still work from home, I would just need to come to the city every few months.
Another major factor, we could rent our place here and more than cover the mortgage while it hopefully goes up in value until DH gets a job and we are ready to really settle somewhere and buy a house.
I am nervous, sad. excited... We are thinking of going in late September. Will I be able to find organic food? Will I get fat? ;-) I must say, the thought of another winter in NYC is DE. PRES. ING. OK, enough angst. Here is a first - a video! Smoosh thinks playing catch is pretty funny..

Friday, July 9, 2010

4th of July

I remember last 4th of July weekend - 8 months pregnant. hot. no margaritas. no sangria. We went to a BBQ and watched the random fireworks coming from the projects since we couldn't see the Hudson river ones from the roof in Clinton Hill. It's sometimes so mind blowing that we have this little person now who was just pulling on my leg and rubbing his little eyes, ready for his morning nap.

We went to the Hamptons for the weekend with my BFF and stayed at her parents house who are in total Grandparent-biological-clock mode. They wanted to hold Smoosh and keep him all weekend - except for when he woke up at 5AM. Then I was on my own. Anyway, we had a nice time and went to the outlets and Montauk for the day which was awesome. However, we really learned that we are truly our own family now and we really prefer to be in control of our own surroundings. i.e. not stay with people! It is hard having him in our room, trying to keep him quiet in the morning, find him things to eat (like explaining that we only give him organic things without seeming like a psycho)! I guess if things stayed too comfortable we would all live with our parents forever and not have the drive to push ourselves so we can someday buy or own beach house. :-)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

All Joy and No Fun

All Joy and No Fun

Super interesting article in NYMag about happiness and parenting. Here are my highlights...

Not only did they find that couples’ overall marital satisfaction went down if they had kids; they found that every successive generation was more put out by having them than the last—our current one most of all. Even more surprisingly, they found that parents’ dissatisfaction only grew the more money they had, even though they had the purchasing power to buy more child care. “And my hypothesis about why this is, in both cases, is the same,” says Twenge. “They become parents later in life. There’s a loss of freedom, a loss of autonomy. It’s totally different from going from your parents’ house to immediately having a baby. Now you know what you’re giving up.”

One hates to invoke Scandinavia in stories about child-rearing, but it can’t be an accident that the one superbly designed study that said, unambiguously, that having kids makes you happier was done with Danish subjects. The researcher, Hans-Peter Kohler, a sociology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, says he originally studied this question because he was intrigued by the declining fertility rates in Europe. One of the things he noticed is that countries with stronger welfare systems produce more children—and happier parents.
Of course, this should not be a surprise. If you are no longer fretting about spending too little time with your children after they’re born (because you have a year of paid maternity leave), if you’re no longer anxious about finding affordable child care once you go back to work (because the state subsidizes it), if you’re no longer wondering how to pay for your children’s education and health care (because they’re free)—well, it stands to reason that your own mental health would improve. When Kahneman and his colleagues did another version of his survey of working women, this time comparing those in Columbus, Ohio, to those in Rennes, France, the French sample enjoyed child care a good deal more than its American counterpart. “We’ve put all this energy into being perfect parents,” says Judith Warner, author of Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety, “instead of political change that would make family life better.”

Amen! I am going to look into Warner's book, she sounds like a voice of reason to me. Why are we the biggest and best industrialized nation in the world, yet the most unhealthy and most miserable?? Come ON health care!

This article really hit home with me as I found DH and myself last night on a crash course from "having a baby" into full-on "PARENTING", all centered around Smooshie's inability to clap. Yes, he is only 9.5 months and he is progressing quite wonderfully, but I have tried and tried to teach him to clap and he isn't having it. I told DH that most of the other babies can clap (Have I really become that person? Did that really come out of my mouth?) and so he decided to teach him. Well, Mr.Man wasn't having it at ALL. This is sounding even crazier as I write it, but it really brought up a lot of issues on how we want to deal with discipline, and how we want to relate to this little person. We decided to let the clapping go and just focus on his strengths ;-) but I can see we are at the beginning of a lonng and winding road.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summertime :-)

These photos are actually from St.Thomas last month but I just got around to editing them. I made Smooshie a baby pool out of one of the big white coolers we bought for our wedding almost 3 years ago! It worked great with just a few a few inches of water in it and he splashed around with some kitchen utensils.

Tomorrow we go to the Hamptons for the weekend. Can't wait to get my little baby beluga back in the water!