Monday, September 25
Okay.. so the first thing I have to say is that Emily and I bring the camera with us EVERY time we go to a family thingy... yet despite this we manage to NEVER bring it out of its pocket in the diaper bag - somehow. Luckily the Newf's were well equiped with camera's this past weekend as we flocked to Nanuet NY like lox returning to the nesting grounds.
This is a big family that I have married myself into - or at least it is on the Holidays... we were MANY ... Jim, Lisa and their "spawn" Mathew & Olivia - who are both gorgeous and incredibly sweet, Me & Em and our lil caviar, D-Gina (Dan & Gina) and their tadpole Farah, Grandma-Grandma Anne mother to Nancy & Chuck, Chuck and Shirley were there from Ithaca - with Ariel and her two trouts - Elijah and Isabella (Photos of Carrie, Chuck and the guppies Ryley and the twins were passed around and best wishes to them in Seattle --- very very cute babies!!!), Anne's sister Janet came with her grown kids (I am running out of fishy metaphors...) Mark and Suzie, Claire & Herb were there along with Liz, Jaime & Neal & Jake & Molly.
Oh and we brought Mabel as well cause its important to have an 85 lb dog running around when you have a house full of family, kids and food!!
Baby Riley came through like a champ - he slept well on both the ride down and the ride back. We left Boston Friday night at 7:30 & got to Nanuet around 11:30 - D-Gina beat us there by a few minutes cause they don't have to stop and breastfeed along the way. We all slept okay - then went to services Sat am ... we spent more time in the hall letting all the kids say hi than we spent in services but that was fine - we heard the drash then headed back to the house. Folks arrived between 1 & 3 and we ate, and ate and ate... I think I had 5 kinds of desert. It was so cool to see all the kids get to play together. Mathew and Elijah are practically the same age and got along great - Farah adores Olivia and follows her around, Jake got to be the biggest guy of the crew and herd them around. Isabella was playing with the cool presents that Gma Gma Anne had gotten her & Riley napped a lot.
Sunday we stayed at the house while Phancy took Farah to services, Em slept and I had coffee and played with Monito. Then JLisa came back over & Chuck & Shirley came back & em & I packed ... (sad) then everyone got home from services and we had lunch then said goodbye and drove back. The boy rode home good & we got back in time for Em to sleep a little bit before her FIRST shift on Nights (now throught October).
The only downside was when it was time for us to go to sleep last night Little Mister didn't think so... He had a MAJOR Meltdown starting around 9:30 on & off and was still SCREAMING at 12:30 am until I finally turned on the bathroom sink and let him look at the water running for 15 minutes (thanks Phil).
Now Em is sleeping, Boy is napping & I am getting some lunch & computer time.... Have a sweet New Year everyone. tikki te-vu
Saturday, September 23
Thursday, September 21
DRIVING; Ah, Boston To Princeton, The Rolling Parking Lot
By GLENN RIFKIN
Published: January 17, 2003
IF there were a contest to name the worst drive in America, I would know what to
enter and I would expect to win. Surely there cannot be a more congested,
dangerous and unpleasant set of roadways than the pastiche of highways that take
travelers from Boston to New Jersey.
...The trip is about 250 miles, and most of it is on highways supposedly built for convenience and speed. But it always takes at least five hours, for an average speed of 50 miles per hour. And on holiday weekends it can take seven hours -- that's averaging only 36 m.p.h.
To experience this pleasure, take the Massachusetts Turnpike west from Boston; at Sturbridge take Interstate 84 west through Hartford, Waterbury and Danbury, Conn.; then, in New York, it's south on I-684 through Westchester County into White Plains; west on I-287 over the Tappan Zee Bridge to the Garden State Parkway South and into the heart of New Jersey. In 31 years, I've made this trip hundreds of times.
Things usually go fairly smoothly in Massachusetts, though I have sat in two-mile backups at the Sturbridge toll plaza. Then comes Connecticut, whose name, I'm convinced, comes from an old Indian word meaning ''road work ahead.'' I've never made it through Connecticut without stopping somewhere in bumper-to-bumper traffic because of road repair.
Though Hartford, when approached at the wrong time of day, can be a traffic nightmare, it is Waterbury that holds a special place in the traffic jam hall of fame. Is it a reduction in the number of lanes that causes the inevitable tie-up? Is there some automotive significance in the giant cross (a relic of the defunct Holy Land U.S.A. theme park) visible on a nearby hillside? Is it simply Connecticut's way of saying, ''Take that, you snobby Bostonians and rude New Yorkers''?
How about an alternate route? On a map, it looks logical to avoid Waterbury by taking I-91 south from Hartford to I-95 and then go west through Stamford, Conn., and Westchester. But if there have ever been 30 consecutive minutes when none of that congested stretch of I-95 was a parking lot, I was not there to witness it.
Out of Connecticut, the driver finds respite in a 30-mile stretch of I-684 through Katonah and Armonk in New York. But the sweeping curve onto I-287 is a jolt back to reality. Suddenly and without warning, there is an overwhelming volume of cars, all screaming toward the Tappan Zee Bridge.
There is no mercy here. Don't bring beginners around here or they may return their permits. This is also a place where road work never ceases. Five-mile backups to the Tappan Zee seem almost inevitable. Even the breathtaking sweep of the bridge as it spans the Hudson River near Nyack, N.Y., does nothing to soothe the pain that by now is physical as well as emotional, afflicting the back and the knees. Car time has
been close to four hours.
Heading south at Nanuet, N.Y., onto the Garden State Parkway and past the ''Welcome to New Jersey'' sign, there is reason for optimism: an easy-access rest stop... I have made this drive for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, bar mitzvahs and a lifetime's worth of family gatherings. I swear I'm never doing it again -- until my mother comes out to the car, bursting with love and welcome, and says, ''You made good time!''
This isn't to say that I'm not looking forward to seeing all the N family, but I am a bit scared of making the trip with the lil guy.
Wednesday, September 20
So now the boy is pretty content to play by himself (maybe he did bump his head ??). He is listening to music as I vacuum (Thank you again Kathy B.) the office and hallway and Swiffer the kitchen. I also find myself doing non-necessary but compulsive "cleaning" such as rearranging the books on the bookshelf because they just don't look right to me. When Em is next home alone she'll probably re-do my re-do .. oh well. And continuing the project of MP3ing all of our CD's into the computer memory. What I should be doing is paying bills and making sure all the thank-you cards have been written and mailed, walking the dog and doing the nasty dirty dishes... BUT I hate those chores... waaahh.
I also submitted the boy to be studied at Harvard by the baby-studiers. I am not sure if they accept premies.. but if they do it could be fun.
I still miss my old life & home really really bad... Em switches to nights next week and that means that We'll be getting to see more of her. ... isn't that ass-backwards ??
Tuesday, September 19
We do not do a lot of tummy time so he isn't really getting much practice at a "roll over" - I am trying to remember to put him down on his belly a little bit more - but he doesn't really like it and I can't really blame him - who wants to be squooshed face down into the mattress or a blanket really ????
We (Monito & I) spent another nice weekend up at the Shire... Grandma Anne got us some chicken for Friday dinner and on Saturday morning we hit the outlets and she got the boy some great fall/winter outifits from the Osh Kosh store. (I also scored a couple of sweaters & we got em a few shirts for the hospital). When Phancy arrived they tested out their new Jogging style stroller by taking the boy out for an hour long walk. He decided to skip most of his naps while we were up there so we've been a little challenged with bedtimes the past 2 nights... funny how the last thing a SUPER TIRED baby wants to do is sleep - screaming is such a better option -
Em has been taking some late night (that means 9:30 pm by the way) walks with the boy in the bjorn.
Honestly I can't believe how lucky we are to have scored such a cute & generally sweet baby. I fall in love a little bit each day.
And don't forget to look at the photos ... they are up on flickr
Wednesday, September 13
Monday, September 11
Friday, September 8
is 4 months old today (and also celebrating one year from his conception date)
and we broke out our favorite outfit of the 3-6 month pile. Besides being a stylish
sushi design - with sushi on the pants, chopsticks on the shirt and a couple of goldfish on the shoes... these are the SOFTEST clothes ever. I can't stop touching him when he's wearing them.
Meditations on 4 months...
I guess the biggest thing for me is how I have seen the boy change in the past weeks from a little dependant guy to someone with a personality that he can use his face, feet & hands to express. There are little things that he does that are HUGE - like when you hold him now he HOLDS onto you... He wraps his arm around your shoulder & HUGS - Oh my god... the feeling is beyond words. And his playful smiling games are amazing, as are the sounds & chirps that he makes - both to just amuse himself & also to get a grownups attention. He is an unbelievably happy kid - he spends 98% of his awake time playful, cooing & kicking and only a little bit of totally crappy crying & screaming time. Em & I know we are blessed. PLUS he is so so so so friggin' cute. I am enchanted by his big blues and the smile makes you forget what you are doing.
All in all its pretty much a love fest over here in Cambridge. I am still a little in shock that this is my life right now - but he is the most amazing companion in this journey...
Wednesday, September 6
Monito is shown above enjoying his NEW swingy chair courtesy of Adam & Ila. This crank up model allows me to make dinner. Since we have been home we've had roast chicken with citrus and shrimp with a mango guacamole. I think because this swing places him higher - its up off the floor - he stays content longer & can be amused by watching me slice, wash, cook etc. It's my new favorite kitchen appliance.
Sunday, September 3
You'd really love this if you could see the movie clip. These two 2 week old babes were franticly pounding at mama - head butting, not suckling... as their seven other litter mates napped in the corner. I think the head butt was meant to get the milk coming but as they pounded into poor mama their little ears were flying - you can get a sense of the motion - especially from the little monster on the left.
So I spent quite awhile hanging with the pigs in the "barnyard" just thinking - yupp thats what it's like some days. A couple other moms with young babes stood next to me and also laughed a soft & knowing slightly overwhelmed laugh as they too watched the babes try to feed.
The long weekend in VT was Lovely - the close to four hour drive to get to Burlington was about half an hour too long - but I think I'd say that of any drive over 2 hours. Adam & Ila have a great house & went out of their way to make me, em, Riley and Mabel comfortable... a HUGE feat since they have two cats and children who don't really like dogs... It was nice to get to spend time with Emily, but then when we had to come home & return to her regular work schedule we were both super sad.
I will upload more fair photo's to the Flikr file....
Friday, September 1
For the full text go to http://lizconorcomment.blogspot.com/2006/07/labour-of-life.html
I got pointed there from Pepita
Faith is now in her cot. I had to let her cry herself to sleep so I could work … her cries pierced my brain like hot pokers and I am hoarse from cursing my too slow computer. Faith is awake again, but I can’t figure out how long she’s slept if at all, because I can’t fathom the time elapsed. Having sat down to make a start, I have to stop and most infuriatingly, find a way to actually kill time, until Faith sleeps again. Right at this moment I feel like I am sitting on blistering bitumen, between two carriageways of semi-trailors screaming past at high velocity. And I must get up and calmly reassure my baby.
I’ve decided to try and keep working, Faith is behind me on the floor jamming her fingers in a perspex box. I’ve fed her and it forced me to sit down. Faith gazed at my buttons and rings, reached up, tugged on my lip and gave me the impish look of a pirate. As she drank little puffs of baby breath opened around us like tiny coloured paper umbrellas. Her little chin shuddered, barely discernibly, between sucking. When we got up she fully contracted her little body into the curve of a crescent moon and gleefully dove into my neck, grabbed an ear and a handful of cheek and gummed my mouth. It is the simple, primal splendour of my children that restores me. The already everlasting fact of their own enmeshed and devoted relationship astounds me as much as their independently produced ear wax did after birth – these beings so unto themselves, busily going about the business of life, and showing me at every turn that business is primarily about beauty.
Wow !! Okay now if you're not one of my friends with a new baby go read the entire POST because it is awesome.... it's a Very Good critique of the devaluation of mothers work... really, really worth taking 10 minutes to read
Time to go tickle monito & try to walk the dog - we are doing laundry and trying to load music onto Em's new ipod, paying the bills and packing a couple of bags, running to the bank and returning the DVD's that we didn't have time to watch... all before 5 today when we leave on a mini road trip to see Adam, Ila and their kids up in Vermont.