Archive for the 'family' Category



Babies are hard

Molly turns 2 on Sunday. It’s crazy! And it’s also awesome. I sometimes miss holding her like a baby and I sometimes miss her sleeping on my chest, but no part of me actually wishes she were a baby again. I love that she’s talking and making jokes and laughing and playing and running and jumping and everything that she does now. Most of all, though, I love that we interact now in a way that feels reciprocal. I don’t always know what she’s saying or what she’s asking me for, and I feel bad that that frustrates her, but for the most part our experiences with each other offer so much tangible connection that these frustrating moments feel like small crosses to bear. In comparison to her time as a baby, there’s no question. When she was a baby, I never felt anything close to the connection I feel to her now. I felt like I gave and gave and gave and she took and took and took. I worry that this sounds selfish, as if I only feel so close to her now because she reciprocates, but it’s true. I don’t think it’d be possible to be a truly loving parent if there weren’t some pay back. At least I couldn’t be one. The pay back now is immeasurable. I feel like sometimes it’s even more gratifying because the beginning was so hard. It’s now that I understand why people do this again and again.

When I read this today, I cried. I knew I wasn’t alone in my thoughts, but I think he’s right that it’s not talked about enough. I’m not sure it can be talked about enough. Those first three months, at a minimum, are pretty damn brutal. But then you get a deeper love than you knew was possible. And it’s awesome.

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LA weekend

Last weekend I got to go to LA to visit the GAOOG. Special thanks to AO for being so supportive of this trip. It was a great time with sunshine and lots of wine and laughs. I didn’t want to be burdened by my giant camera for such a short trip, so I have only iPhone pics to share. And, yes, they’re mostly of what we ate. You didn’t think I was going to show you the dress we found, did you? Shame on you.

Tacos and flautas!

Tacos and flautas!

Nina's

Nina’s

Our first stop after the airport pickup (holy traffic, LAX!) was Nina’s, a tiny little taco shop in West LA. Delish!

The next day, after sleeping in, we got up and went to get coffee (the GAOOG’s morning ritual involves a trip to Peet’s where, not only do the employees know my friend, they know how to make her very specific Americano. And if it isn’t made right – say because they hired a new employee – they will have it remade without our little Indian having to say a word). Then we headed out for a hike. Me in shorts and a tee shirt, the GAOOG in a long-sleeve shirt, long capris and a hat.

Hiking trail

Hiking trail

View

View

View

View

Orange tree

Orange tree

After the hike, we headed to Olive & Thyme for lunch and snagged a small table (in the shade per the GAOOG’s request) outside.

O & T

O & T

Hummus plate for me, egg number for her

Hummus plate for me, egg number for her

After lunch, we went back to SR’s apartment, showered and changed and headed out for a Dress Appointment. This Dress Appointment was just supposed to be to get the feel of things. We were just supposed to be seeing what she liked, what she didn’t like. You know the drill. In fact, we were supposed to be just scoping out the bridal world so we could go back to SR’s stylist friend and report our findings so he could come up with something perfect (and possibly free). Instead, we found The Dress. Gulp! First dress she tried on. Bam. Nailed it. Done and done. But first, we let the shop treat us to a little Prosecco. Cheers! After such an exhausting emotional afternoon, we headed back to SR’s apartment (after a short stop in a cute furniture store where we saw the First Lady of tv) for a little rest. I admit I snoozed a bit. For dinner, we  went to SR’s favorite place, Cube, where we dined with SR’s fiance. I had a super pizza and a side of delicious baby broccoli with garlic. I forgot to take pics of it, but here is the tasty charcuterie plate we started with:

Meat and cheese

Meat and cheese

Cube

Cube

On Day Three, I really slept in. I mean, REALLY. It was heaven. I hadn’t slept that long or that well in ages. Was it the best part of the trip? Nah, but it was amazing. Ok, so day three we headed downtown to the Grand Central Market, a place I requested we hit up after I saw it featured recently in the New York Times. It did not disappoint. It’s a bit like Milwaukee’s Public Market, but not.

Market, as seen from the street

Market, as seen from the street

Market signs

Market sign

Market

Market

Stuff

Stuff

This is where SR ate. It was super popular.

This is where SR ate. It was super popular.

This pic is for Maggie & Bryan

This pic is for Maggie & Bryan

A little B&W

A little B&W

More market

More market

Market map

Market map

After the market, SR indulged me and drove us over to West Hollywood, so I could get a little shot of this. If you don’t know the significance, you should be proud of yourself.

Sur

Sur

Sur

Sur

After SR made her second of three jean changes of the day, we each got a mani-pedi and I got an amazing brow wax. Thanks again! For the evening, we decided to stay in because we needed to get a lot of wedding work done. We had champagne and wine and tacos (again!), watched Bridesmaids, which just serendipitously happened to be on, and tackled the color scheme, bridesmaids’ dresses, the photographer and the DJ. Phew. It was a lot.

We didn’t have a lot of time on my last day, so we just got coffee, drove around and looked at fancy houses (a hobby of mine) and went to Hugo’s for lunch. If the theme of this year’s visit was wedding and tacos, last time I visited the theme was open houses and turkey burgers. I ate so many turkey burgers last time I visited that LA is now inextricably linked in my mind with the poultry sandwich.

Hugo's turkey burger

Hugo’s turkey burger

After lunch, it was off to JMB’s place because he nicely offered to take me to the airport because SR was otherwise occupied. I snapped this outside his place, figuring it would be the last green I would see for awhile.

Grass. In January.

Grass. In January.

Despite the traffic, I can see why she lives there. And despite the cold, I hope she visits soon.

And they’re going legit, folks!

In a surprise pre-holiday move, Mr. JMB decided to end months of will-they-or-won’t-they speculating by those of us on the sidelines and ask the GAOOG to be his wife. Wife!

20131217-143256.jpg

I couldn’t be happier for these crazy kids. Mazel, my friend! Mazel.

No!

Molly’s new favorite word is ‘no.’ Sometimes it’s a curt ‘no’ and sometimes it’s a very dramatic and emotional ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ What’s confusing (read: frustrating) is that sometimes it doesn’t mean ‘no’ at all. It might mean ‘not right now’ or ‘maybe’ or – despite all of the PSAs to the contrary – ‘yes’ (gasp!).

Anyway, just today I was revisiting a Slate article from earlier this year that a friend had recently posted to her Facebook page. It’s all about why we should be cool with toddlers’ freakouts and tantrums. After a four-day weekend home with a 20-month old (21 months today! Happy day Bear!), it was especially reassuring. My favorite part? This quote, from the all-knowing Harvey Karp:  “It is hard to spend all day with a 2-year-old, and they don’t really want to spend all day with you anyway.”

So true. This morning, as we were driving Mollybear to school, I turned around to face her in her carseat. I smiled and said, “Hi.” She smiled back at me, giggled and said, “No.”

A trip to the grocery store. Or how we spent our hours in exile from the open house.

AO has long wanted to check out Yue Wah, a grocery store on South Park. And we had to be out of our place today for an open house, so we thought we’d finally see what was inside. A little tornado warning was not going to deter us.

Yue Wah

Yue Wah

Do you see Bear? Anyway, I’m no expert in grocery stores, but this one seemed pretty nice. I especially liked that it was not crowded. Though that could have had more to do with the ominous skies and probably shouldn’t be relied on by future customers who might be reading this.

Horseradishy

Horseradishy

Hello panda

Hello panda

Plates and spoons

Plates and spoons

Snake-head fish

Snake-head fish

Coffee

Coffee

Fruit

Fruit

Bear kept insisting on putting quinoa in the cart.

Blurry quinoa

Blurry quinoa

Sauces

Sauces

And then we went out to lunch and Bear sat in her first booster seat. I know she was probably old enough for that rite of passage many moons ago, but don’t blame her for the delay. That’s on me. I hope I didn’t do any permanent damage.

Crayons and a booster

Crayons and a booster


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Scissors still life. #scissors #thecraftersbox
omgomgomgomgomg. It’s no joke, folks. THE TODAY SHOW. #sarayublue #ifeelbad #nbctv #soproud
#harleydavidson #wisconsin #madison #uwmadison #tradewars #bluewave
Sleep in safety. Sleep without stress. Sleep without worry. Things children all over the world should be able to do. But those kids who have set foot on this soil after bearing untold abuses and have asked for asylum from us—literally begged us for help, throwing themselves on our mercy—have been tossed aside and, I imagine, can’t sleep. . . . They’ve been treated not only like they’ve done something wrong (they haven’t), but treated in a way we don’t—or shouldn’t—treat any child in this country. We don’t put children in cages. We don’t make children sleep on floors. We don’t separate them from their families. In fact, when these things happen to children, we usually file criminal charges against the perpetrators. This must stop. . . . #stopthemadness #reunitefamilies #asylumseekers #choosekindness #hurryupmueller
My love. She loves to sleep on the floor. I swear: she has a bed. We have several. Couches too! But I get to see her like this every night and we both get to feel so safe . . . On the other hand, there are those who can’t feel safe at night bc of our country’s ridiculous policy. The #GOP has decided that the world’s current horrors weren’t enough that they needed to up the ante and add their own voice to the unending madness. And they did . . . Separating asylum-seeking mothers and fathers from their children. That’s the #GOPlegacy. Does it get more horrific?! People fleeing horrendous abuses, throwing themselves on our mercy and, instead of kindness, we shower them with incivility, treating them as criminals, stealing their children and tossing them in detention. Where is your soul, #GOP?! . . . #resist #impeachmentyesterday #impeachmentnow #bluewave #votethemout #noexcuse
Sleepy wheaten. #wheatenterrier #wheatensofinstagram #dogsofinstagram

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