Friday, November 28, 2008


I just found out that my family in France reads this blog to keep up to date with the comings and goings of our little funky monkey, and my poor aunt keeps checking in only to find that this blog has been woefully neglected time and time again. I'm hoping to be able to rectify this, and to post at least more frequently than once a month. I'm sure by now my aunt is the only reader left, considering the long blog silences.

Hopefully now we are entering what I'd like to refer to as the era of peace (and prosperity would be nice to, but I won't push my luck here) in our little life we're building here. We have finally bought the house, after a very frustrating month on pins and needles in which we were homeless (staying at my father's house) and being promised entry every day, only to find more red tape at the end of the day. Yes, internets, we are homeowners. We own a home. Excuse me while I go hide under the covers and quake with fear over what we have done. Yikes! Its terrifying and incredibly exciting all at once. And I don't even think its sunk in yet that we really own it. I'm sure it will sink in the first time something goes wrong and we have no landlords to call!

A day and a half after we closed we ran away to a tropical paradise. Yes, the trip to Puerto Rico had been planned for months, but it just sounds so romantic and jet setting to say that we ran away to a tropical paradise. And it was, in however much of a way it could be with the trip being all about visiting the in laws and such. (editor's note: no. WB and I have not secretly tied the knot or anything, I just refer to them as my in laws for lack of a better word) We had a lovely week, and my grisly fears of nitpicking critical in laws could not have been more off the mark. They were absolutely lovely, and welcomed us into their home with love and open arms. The LFM went directly to them with no hesitation, as if he saw them every weekend. I was astounded (and relieved) by how comfortable he was at their house. And they were in love with every move, every sound, every breath he took. He was so spoiled by the attention that when we got on the last flight home and no one was cooing over him he became hurt and distraught that no one was melting over his charms.

As for me, I enjoyed getting to know them without the shadow of grief and weight of new motherhood clouding the waters between us, and it was more the visit I would have liked to have had when they came for the LFM's birth. Timing really is everything, I suppose, and this time we finally got it right. It was nice to relax after so much stress of moving and closing on the be somewhere without boxes waiting to be unpacked, forced to relax and enjoy ourselves. And the food...oh god, I can't believe I haven't mentioned the food yet! WB's mother is an excellent cook and the food was just to die for. My stomach just piped up in enthusiastic agreement at the mere writing of this. Mmmmmm.....pasteles, I'm dreaming of you....wait for me, oh delicous pasteles. I'll be back for you.

We came back last Saturday, to be greeted once again with a house completely full of a million boxes waiting to be unpacked...but its our house. Our crazy discombobulated house of boxes.

Our home.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

First Halloween

Here is our little stinky man on his first Halloween- no, we didn't dress him as a monkey, we went with whatever the local Goodwill had, and luckily it was a freakin adorable skunk costume! We went with Uncle Noah, Chelsea, and met up with Mim and Chuck and checked out the Halloween craziness on a local street in the artsy neighborhood that is renowned for their Halloween festivities. The street was blocked off, there were hundreds of people milling about and some of the houses were spectacularly done up...they were costumes in and of themselves. Jonah had a great time, although he was a little intimidated by all the people and costumes. People stopped us about every 2 feet to tell us how adorable he was, and WB and I were probably glowing we were beaming with such pride at our sweet stinker. After making the full tour, we went back to Mim and Chuck's for pizza. It was just the perfect speed for us on our first Halloween, and Jonah even met and flirted with a fellow skunk! (although everyone agreed he was the cutest by far)

His new nickname is now Pepe. As in the famous skunk. He seems to love it a lot.

On a side note, I'm exhausted and fried. We're still waiting to be able to close on the new house, although we were able to move all of our furniture in last weekend. The builders seem to be either grossly inept, or they're totally blowing smoke up our asses. It might very well be a combination of both, but I'm at the end of my rope. We're homeless, staying at my Dad's house, and the poor LFM has been so freaked out by these major changes that its like having a newborn again- he only wants to be in my arms and except when he's on playdates or at Mim and Chuck's house, he hasn't been letting me put him down. I think the tide is turning though, and he's starting to adjust to his new surroundings...unfortunately he'll be uprooted again when we move, and then again when we go to Puerto Rico in a couple of weeks. Poor little monkey! Mama's feeling pretty lost too. (not to mention stressed beyond belief) Keep your fingers crossed that we can move in soon...this limbo-land is not for me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

By Way of An Explanation

I kind of neglected to mention this gigantically huge major life changing event that has kind of taken over our lives for the past few, its not another baby, not yet, but we are giving birth in a a new house. We signed a contract on the house when it was barely a shell and some architect's plans, oh it seems like 7 years ago now, though I believe it was probably in June or the beginning of July maybe? And after several months of a lot of running around like headless chickens for the mortgage people, and picking out all the various features in the house like flooring and lighting and bathroom fixtures (and mind you I am making this sound far less stressful than it actually has been), we are finally approaching the end of the tunnel, and we're set to close on the 24th. Yes, as in less than 2 weeks away. I think I just had a mini heart attack while typing that. Please don't ask how much packing we still have left to do, or I just might cry. Its not fair to make a heart attack victim cry.

I'm hoping that after we finally get settled in, we get to relax a little and that's it with the huge major life events...I think we're ready for a break after 2.5 years of relentless stress and change. Of course I fully realize that the Universe is now laughing hysterically at me for having the gall to write that and fate has now been duly tempted. But maybe, just maybe, we can settle in, breathe, and just enjoy being for a little while.

The new house (I totally think she needs to be named) is an eco-friendly house with a live roof (if you click on the 2nd picture of the rear of the house you can kind of see a hint of it), which means we have plants growing on our roof insulating the house like 50% more. Yes, we will have to mow our roof like once a year. We have a tankless hot water heater, low water consumption toilets, energy efficient fixtures, bamboo flooring, concrete and recycled glass counters, recycled glass shower tiles, and other stuff that I'm probably forgetting. The point is, its a house that meshes with our values and will be easier on the pocketbook in terms of utilities too. Plus its in the city, within walking distance of a number of things (still being a New Yorker at heart, this was incredibly important to me), although it is strange that I will be living about 5 blocks from the apartment where I lived through most of college. The neighborhood is transitional, so I think its a really good investment, and hey, considering we almost put all of Mimi's money (which is how we're buying a house in the first place) in the stock market...its an excellent investment.

Now I just have to survive trying to move with a very curious, very mischevious baby!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dental Overachiever

Err, upon further examination, make that now TWO teeth coming in. TWO! No wonder things have been a little wonky here in Funkymonkeyland. The LFM has been stuck to me like sushi on rice. And if course all this coincides with my first postpartum foray back into theatre, so WB's been doing a bang up job of holding the fort down the 3 nights a week that I have rehearsal. And me? Well I've been discovering that I just may be able to hold a conversation not involving poop. I think there is indeed a person within the Mama, and its been really nice rediscovering her.

Wow, I'm still in little boy now has TWO teeth!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rite of Passage

As of 2 days ago, the LFM is getting his first tooth. Its just barely breaking through and we can't really see it very well, but wow can we feel it! I asked WB to write a post about it and he replied that his post would simply say "Its sharp!". And that it is.

My little baby is growing up so fast. I guess now he's got an excuse for being a bit difficult in the past week or so. Maybe we won't give him away or leave him in the next parking lot we have to stop and nurse in because he's throwing a major fit...again. Maybe.

Please pray for my poor nipples, now that he's sprouting razorblades.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Letter to My Big Boy 6 Month Old at 6.5 Months, Because That's Just How Disorganized Life Is These Days

My Dear Little Funky Monkey,

You have now completed over half of your first year out of Mama's womb. You are all growed up. You're my big boy now, and Papa and I are even talking about leaving you with Tio and Tia for a few hours and going out on a real with just grownups involved and the ability to eat an entire meal without interruption. We also talk about leaving and running away to Peru for an undisclosed amount of time, but that's only in the more challenging moments, and while the frequency of those moments is definitely increasing I'd say you're pretty safe...for now at least.

I think these new personality traits are asserting themselves (that's the nice way of saying you're cute but sometimes you can really be douchey- your Papa and I are totally going to make a onesie that says that too...and all the parents will smile knowingly and the childless people will think we are heartless assholes) mostly because you are not taking small steps of development, but rather giant leaps for all babykind. You are now so close to crawling that I think I peed my pants a little just for writing that statement just now. You can inchworm crawl pretty darn fast, especially if there's something you want to get to to put in your mouth or bang your head into, and you love to get up on your hands and knees and rock back and forth as if you're gearing up and gaining momentum to take off like a rocket. One of these days I know you will. That will also be the day I have my first of many heart attacks. Despite the desperate fear that churns in the pit of my stomach when I think of your impending mobility, I am insanely proud of you. You are doing some of the same things your friends who are 2 months older than you are doing, and while a little ways down the road I may not write that phrase with such glee, for now I am relishing how advanced and brilliant you are proving yourself to be.

An unfortunate byproduct of your new found skills is that you are now the squirmiest creature to have ever been discovered on this planet. Not only are you obsessed with crawling to the point that you practice it in your sleep (to the detriment of Mama's sleep, of course) and want only to be on the floor, even if that floor is covered in hazmat materials and shards of broken glass, but you are also obsessed with standing. You want us to help you stand at all times, stubbornly pushing up when we try to work on your sitting skills. The pediatrician even commented that perhaps you were standing too much and this was negatively affecting your ability to develop your sitting skills. And it probably is, but you are so bound and determined to stand at all times that I have now resigned myself to the notion that you will probably be the freaky kid at prom, all slumped over and unable to sit upright in a chair. You will, however, have mad standing skills, so that may just win the ladies (or the guys...we are open minded parents here) over nonetheless.

You are also eating solids like a champ, always eager to try whatever new foods Mama can make for you, and so far peas have been the only thing you haven't liked. But boy, the face you made with the peas and the accompanying are anything but subtle, my son. I have to confess, though, that weird new taste that seems like apples with a certain ju ne sais quoi? That je ne sais quoi...yup, its the peas. Mama's learning to be tricky like that. Hey, we're on a super tight budget around here...I'm not wasting all those peas! So far you've had sweet potato (your fave, and Mama's too), bananas, applesauce, summer squash, butternut squash, carrots, pears, peas, and rice cereal. All made by Mama with organic fruits and veggies except for the pears and the rice cereal, but those were organic too. The next new foods that are all ready to be introduced are avocado and green beans. And this solid foods thing? Totally fun. I love watching you enjoy eating like a big boy (and you do love it- you cry when you see us eating with a spoon and you're not), experimenting with new tastes, and for the first time gaining weight at a good clip.

However, there is one issue we need to discuss, my sweet boy...the poop. Oh god help us all, THE POOP!! The poop is insane! I know what went into that baby food...I made it...but still, I have my suspicion that someone must have slipped something truly rank and vile in when I wasn't looking because what in heaven's name could possibly produce such a stink? And you, who has never been a copious pooper before (you usually were a twice a week pooper at best), have suddenly become the overachiever of poopers, supplying us with enough of the stinky stuff to fertilize the entire nation of Lichtenstein. Did you not get the memo that its supposed to be the other way around? Most babies poop profusely in early infancy and become more constipated with the introduction of solids. But you had to be an original, didn't you? Even as I type this, I hear you grunting away, and am paralyzed with anticipatory fear.

I never thought one could write so much (and talk so much) about poop. Is this really what I've become?

But you, my sweet monkey, what you have become is this extraordinary little person, with your own little personality asserting itself more and more each day. You have the most wondrous smile that can charm even the most stoic and cold people, and when you are happy your little feet and legs start kicking all over the place and you shriek this high pitched little shriek of joy. You love to fake cough, and crack up when I do it back to you, and peek-a-boo is one of your favorite new games. You are curious about everything and that insatiable curiosity combined with your increasing mobility spells certain trouble for us. You love to splash, having spent a weekend playing in the river with your Godmother and Aunt, Chanteuse. In fact you now try to make every surface splash, slapping the floor, your father and I, whatever you can reach. You have also become so very talkative (which is not adorable at 1am, just for the record), saying different combinations of ma, ba, da, ga, and la in this teeny voice that just cracks me up every time because it just doesn't seem to me like it fits with your bulldozer bruiser physicality. You are becoming a much more independent monkey- you're actually on the floor, playing so independently right now, and telling your little turtle Paddles (WB named him) something very important...its a joy to watch you exploring the world around you. And yet there's a teeny part of me that already misses my little baby, who is quickly being replaced by this fearless boy who is now conquering his world inch by inch. You are growing up so fast and furiously that I really treasure the moments that you want to be in my arms, nursing and being nurtured. I hope there's always that little side to you that always wants and needs to be mothered, despite your incredible achievements.

I love you, my sweet little funky, curious, brilliant, obstinate, sweet, and right now very stinky monkey. Let's go brave this diaper situation together.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

We'rew Crackin Up Around Here...In More Ways Than One

The latest pictures from the super talented and super awesome Meghan McSweeney

I don't know how other Moms keep up with their blogs. As a matter of fact, I don't know how other Moms keep up with anything at all. I feel like if I've either a) showered b) made something vaguely resembling a meal or c) clipped the LFM's super bionic fingernails that grow like a chia pet on steroids then I've really accomplished an amazing feat for the day. Before having a baby, I thought that I would have so much extra time, being a stay at home Mom, that my home would be sparklingly pristine and all of my meals gourmet. With fancy folded napkins. Maybe even cloth napkins. Fast forward to the present, where if any part of my home sparkles its probably because something was spilled there once upon a time and its better that no questions are asked. My definition of gourmet meal has expanded to include haphazardly thrown together quesadillas filled with all sorts of mysteries from the fridge and if we were to even attempt cloth napkins, we'd probably end up using somewhat questionable cloth diapers while waiting for the original napkins to be washed at some unspecified future date and time. I may be exaggerating a bit, then again, I may not all depends on how deep our friendship goes and how much you're willing to forgive. The point is that when given 20 minutes of nap time at a stretch and the choice between scooping cat litter and blogging, the cat litter usually wins, even if the blog smells so much sweeter.

The LFM is now over 5 months old, and despite all efforts to slow down time and simply enjoy the present moment (at the expense of productivity and cleanliness) I can't help feeling like father time is robbing me blind- sneaking in the back door while I'm distracted by a poopie diaper or an adorable coo and cleaning the place out. How could my sweet little monkey already be 5 months old? If I wake up tomorrow and he's off to college, I'm gonna be super pissed. I mean it. And that feels entirely possible at this point- our sweet boy is growing up and developing just that fast.

He now rolls over both ways, sometimes spinning faster than a whirling dervish on crack, and can now roll across the bed or floor by executing consecutive rolls in the same direction. I'm trying to teach him how to roll into the kitchen and fix Mama a sandwich, but so far he just laughs at that idea. As a matter of fact, he laughs at pretty much anything and everything these days, and we've spent up to a half hour just laughing back and forth at each other. Its utterly adorable. The Little Funky Monkey can also scoot across the floor or bed on his back, though luckily he is less adept on his stomach...for now [insert ominous music here]. He has so much of an awareness of the world around him, and his favorite toys by far are those two freaks and weirdos he lives with who make all sorts of ridiculous faces, songs, and dances to amuse him. He also still loves his play mat and we just picked up this used exersaucer from craigslist...jackpot! I call it heaven in plastic. Not only does he go apeshit for this toy, but this little gem let me sweep the kitchen and the bathroom today. Not that I enjoy housework, on the contrary sweeping is about as fun as file folder paper cuts, but the dust bunnies were demanding dinner too, and they don't eat quesadillas. So thank you, dear exersaucer people, you've made my son scream with delight and you've made walking through my kitchen a possible feat once again.

He is also becoming such a Daddy's boy, though the true test is about to be undertaken. I'm doing a little one performance short play, and have rehearsals for 3 hours every night next week. I'm actually more worried about my milk supply suffering than I am of the LFM suffering; WB is a great father and I think they'll so just fine. Me, on the other hand...I'll be the one shaking from withdrawal, certain that my baby is being eaten alive by hungry dust bunnies while I become the Sahara desert of breast milk. But I will be a Sahara desert doing what she loves, and that's important too. I'll just be surgically attached to the pump the other 21 hours of the day and breast milk will be fine.

I hope.

The LFM is giving me the best little smile and laugh right now, so if you'll excuse me, I think we have a crack up party in the making.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Word About Fathers

I wanted to talk about WB's first Father's Day, which was just lovely. We had a wonderful afternoon driving through the country and going for a wine tasting at a local winery. It was sweet and romantic and we had a great time. But I don't want to write about that, I want to write about fathers. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Well, ok, the good and the bad.

I've been having a very difficult time with my father lately. And by difficult I mean he reduces me to tears at least twice a week. And by tears I mean big huge messy bouts of sobbing. (Maybe this is where the ugly comes in?) He's been spending every weekend with his new girlfriend- the girlfriend that he started dating a mere month after my mother died. My mother that he was married to for almost 39 years. He barely waited for rigor mortis to set in. Needless to say I had a bit of a hard time listening to him tell me how he was in love with her, so I asked him to please respect my grief and not talk to me about her. After the 5th request (and at the behest of numerous friends and WB) he complied. Since then things have been strained, to say the least. He doesn't really want to talk at all if he can't talk about her, and I'm sure the only reason he sees us is to see the LFM.

50% of my immediate family have died, and the ones left standing when the smoke cleared were the ones who always clashed the most. He is all I have left of my original family, and yeah, I know I'm creating a new family...but that doesn't just automatically replace the need for the old one, you know?

So this has all come to a head with several recent conversations. The other week, when I told him I needed a Dad, he said he was perfectly willing to be there for me, as long as it was a weekday. When I asked if maybe he could take just one weekend away from his weekend for us, for his grandson..he said no, he didn't want to. We could see him any time on the weekdays and on the weekends if we want his girlfriend to be a part of things as well. That was hurtful. He was essentially telling me that he places this new woman above his only living child, above his grandchild. WB was so horrified upon hearing my father say these things that he had to walk away, lest he blurt out exactly what he was thinking.

But that conversation seems like the sweetest sonnet in comparison to the cruelty that was tonight's conversation. A conversation in which I mostly sobbed and asked "why are you treating me like this? why are you speaking to me like this? Please stop yelling at me!" while he ranted at me for 20 minutes. The conversation began innocuously...we were talking about the house hunting that WB and I are about to embark on. Then he starts in on how we don't really want his advice (live in the county, not the city...which would probably make us fairly miserable) and how we should just do whatever the hell we wanted. I was trying to discuss the pros and cons of both options, trying to have a discussion about this major life decision and he starts yelling at me about how tired he is of hearing me talk things to death and how I should just go buy a house and not think about it so much. That I think things to death and just go do it and shut up about it. How he doesn't want to hear about it, just take Mimi's money and have fun with it and stop acting like everything is the end of the world.

At which point I try to tell him that I want to share these things with him because he's my family, and I always talked everything through with my mother. But he doesn't want to hear that. He's begun this tirade, and the momentum is clearly overpowering him. He starts yelling at me about how I'm 32 years old, and how at 32 he didn't call his dad and ask him for advice or want to talk things over with him. Evidently in his world there is an age limit to being someone's child...and expiration date on fatherhood. He continued onward to tell me that he doesn't want to hear about my feelings, because he doesn't really care how I feel, and he's tired of me being so down about everything (yes, he actually said this). I, of course, was crying this whole time, and trying desperately to understand where all this was coming from. I told him that I just needed him to be my dad, to love and support me, and that wasn't a ridiculous thing to ask for, even at 32. He asked what that means, to support someone, and said that if it means listening to me complain he wasn't willing to do it. He told me that he wants me to call him, tell him one or two little unimportant things about my life and hang up. That's it. No talk about feelings, no talk about anything. That I should talk to WB about how I feel, but not him, he doesn't want to hear it. He said he would never be the father I wanted him to be, so I should just get used to it. He mocked me when I asked him why he was speaking to me like this, and that I didn't deserve it, actually repeating it back to me in a mocking a little child does.

This is a man who has already lost one child to suicide, you'd think he'd be a little more sensitive to a daughter who's going through a pretty bad depression. But no, he was anything but sensitive as he literally yelled over everything I tried to say. It was amazing, really, and horribly hurtful. And it was completely out of the blue, we were just talking about houses. And I'm not even asking him for help with any of this (though we totally need help), I was just telling him what the mortgage people said and going over possibilities with him. When the conversation went downhill he still kept bringing up the house stuff, saying I should just take the money and buy a house and have fun with it, and I kept saying this isn't about buying a house, Dad, this is about us.

He's my only family left, and he was cruel to me. I would classify that horrible conversation as doesn't read that way, but picture me sobbing while he yelled all those things at me, unprovoked, and maybe you'll get more of an idea. Then multiply it by 1000.

All this has made me so very thankful for WB, and the wonderful father that he is. Not only would the LFM never have to even say "I need you", if he ever did the request would be met immediately with a flood of love and support and never with derision. I am thankful that this is all unfathomable to WB, because I know and trust that our children will never, at any age, feel abandoned by their parents.

It also made me fantasize about skipping town with no forwarding address. Seriously.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

my cup runneth over

i'm sitting here typing one handed because i'm holding the world's most adorable sleeping baby in my arms...i can't put him down, he's too sweet like this, and i know these moments are limited and will be gone in the blink of an eye so i must put aside all other things and just enjoy sharing this time with him. the smell of his head, the feel of his little baby arms around me, the little sighs and baby snores...these are the things i want to capture in words on this blog so that i never forget them, and its precisely these sweet moments that can never be encapsulated by something like letters and punctuation. these moments can only exist in the heart, and right now mine feels overflowing with blessing.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Start Spreading the News

At Uncle Nick's in the old hood
With Auntie Monkey
And Aunt Mica
With Daddy and Aunt Shea
At Vinyl, yet again hanging on 9th ave in the old hood
Flying with Uncle David in Balsley Park
My Two Loves
With Uncle Artsy Hotpants

Like the truly insane people we seem to have become (three cheers for sleep deprivation) on Memorial Day weekend we packed up the 'ol hybrid and set forth on an epic journey northward, to the place where it all began...New York City. This was the LFM's first trip outside of the womb, and our first family trip since we moved last August. Ummm, New York, we didn't really mean to leave...I mean, when we said we needed space, we just meant temporarily. We didn't want to break up or anything. Sure, we're living with Richmond now, but that doesn't mean're the one we love, we swear. No one knows us like you one brings out our very best selves like you do. No one does restaurants and pizza like you do. And no one titillates our creative senses like you do. New York, we desperately want to get back together, one day, if we can ever afford it. We're still madly in love with you, and we probably always will be. We haven't discussed it or anything, but I think we both still fantasize about you. And going back? Just made our hearts break all over again.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I have a post in the works about mother's day, but who knows when it will be completed. Instead I'm living (and posting) in the moment. And the moment is and has been pretty tough lately. I've been dealing with some very heavy post partum depression mixed with a liberal dose of grief and that's just not my favorite recipe in the world. I'm feeling pretty fragile these cracked pottery that just might break into a million fragments the next time you put it in the dishwasher of life. I didn't even fully realize how hard its been and the extent of what I've been feeling until I went to see our wonderful wise midwife the other day and my busy bee facade of I'm handling it just crumbled before her gentle loving gaze. The truth is I'm a mess. A huge weepy overwhelmed mess. And now I'm putting my mess out there for all the world to see. I am not handling things well, and I pretty much want to hide under the covers and cry all the time. But I can't. The LFM needs me, WB needs me, the laundry...well, never mind, at this point the apartment is one giant metaphor for my emotional state. Hopeless.

And amidst all of this, my father (and everyone else really) is pressuring me to take advantage of the real estate market and buy a house with Mimi's death money as a substantial down payment. Because you know, when I'm overwhelmed and sobbing from little things like making dinner or getting the car inspected, that's the perfect time to make major life decisions, right?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Speedracer on the Developmental Racetrack

The LFM and his Papy Putting in a Busy Day at the Office

Look at those Awesome Dimples!

No, I'm not Trying to Show Off my Impressive Ability to Create Large Piles of Mess Everywhere I go...This Here is Evidence of the LFM's Brilliance...the First Roll

I've been trying to write this post for a week...literally. Yeah, if this is our poor monkey's version of a baby book, he seems to be getting the cheap ghetto Dollar Store version. We'll give it to him for his 20th birthday along with a gift certificate for a mullet trim and a gigantic bag of cheetos...because we're just that classy.

The monumental news around these parts (which now seems like old hat thanks to my blogging laziness- the date on the post is really a lie, contrived to make me seem like a better Mama than I really am) is that on Sunday May 4th 2008 the LFM rolled over from his back to his stomach! [insert crowd cheers and tickertape parade here] At 3 months! This is not normally achieved until 4-6 months old. Harvard here we come! I knew the boy was brilliant!

Except he has not stopped rolling ever since. Even in his sleep. All he wants to do is roll (he has yet to discover the rock part of the equation). This wouldn't be so much of a problem except that our little precocious monkey has yet to master rolling from his stomach to his back. And he hates-nay, loathes- being on his stomach. The scenario runs like this: the LFM, looking all cute and pleased with himself rolls over with such grace and poise you'd think he was auditioning for the US Olympic Baby Rolling Team. He looks up for the grand finish and flashes a smile that puts Mary Lou Rhetton to shame. He then looks around, realizes that he's indeed on his stomach, and immediately panics that he will never again be able to get back onto his back. He yells until I come and roll him back over. Rinse and Repeat. 12 million times a day. The fun never ends. Ever.

So our Little Funky Monkey is now rolling over and reaching for, grabbing and holding toys. All quite early in the game. He also scoots when on his back and makes crawling motions when on his stomach. Umm, hello? Crawling motions? Maybe being precocious isn't so great after all..I was hoping he'd start crawling when he's about 18. Years. Not Months. Can't he crawl to class at Harvard?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Grabbing at Our Hearts

The LFM just reached for his froggie toy and grabbed it and played with it! Like a big boy baby not a newborn baby. Wow, he's growing up so fast, next year he'll be off to college. It seems like just yesterday he was destined to go on his first date with a wobbly head while projectile spitting up and now he's sitting on his Daddy's chest playing with a toy. A toy that he reached for and grabbed with his hands. What a talented boy we have! He's also laughing these days and scooting around when he's on his back- he'll start off on his play mat in one position and turn himself 180 degrees just by scooting. He doesn't move so much when he's on his tummy though, so clearly he's destined to crabwalk and then moonwalk instead of crawl and then walk. That's cool with us unless he starts getting skin lightening treatments and plastic surgery..I love his nose too much for him to change it.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The LFM Supports the Arts, Do You?

At his first Passover seder. dressed up as one of the plagues in his froggie shortsuit.

Attempting the Four Questions in hebrew?

With his adoptive Grandmother Mim
Showing his bad ass nature in his Kiss onesie with Aunt Mica

At our birthing class reunion class (although the Mamas and Babies have gotten together every week since the babies were born), The LFM is about 2 months younger than all the other boys, and clearly unfazed by the gravitational challenges he seems to be facing.

Chillin with his peeps

Sorry I haven't updated in a while...grief has really been kicking my ass lately, and I just haven't felt up to it at all. Emotional turmoil should make me want to write to express those feelings, but no, really it just makes me want to eat doughnuts. Lots and lots of doughnuts. Which is not good when you already feel depressed about how fat you are. Its also not good when its Passover and you can't eat doughnuts. Damn you, Passover. Pass the chocolate, please.

The LFM has been busy supporting the arts, even at such a young age. He went to his first art show last Friday at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Studio School to check out the awesome work that Charles Benoit's students had done. Then tonight, the LFM went to see his first play ever! At only 3 months of age, our little monkey not only attended the opening of Peter Pan, but he also attended the opening night reception afterwards. What a crazy party monkey he is. He seemed to really enjoy the play and made it through the first two acts before finally falling asleep during Act III. I'm not entirely sure if he was fascinated by the play or by the back of Holly's head, but either way he was quiet and his parents enjoyed the play and well, now we can boast that he saw his first play at 3 months old. Saw is a relative term right? Hey. we gotta boast about something besides his ability to projectile vomit all over his Mama. Next week is Chuck's art opening, which he's greatly looking forward to. Chuck is The LFM's favorite artist, mostly because of his smiley silly faces, but hey we all get fans however we can...what matters is the love, man. That and projectile vomiting. Its an underrated skill.

It was both nice and weird to be out and about tonight. Weird identity issues cont...episode 3 thousand. I do feel like my conversation skills don't really extend beyond poop these days, and aside from the other Mamas in my playgroup I have a really hard time speaking to people for more than about 2 minutes. I just don't have all that much to talk about besides the LFM, and while he's absolutely fascinating to us, I'm not sure everyone cares to hear about how unbelievably fast his fingernails and toenails grow (its clip them and 5 seconds later they need to be clipped again, which is a feat akin to open heart surgery). Then again, I'm speaking to the wrong crowd here...presumably you are interested in how fast his nails grow, otherwise why would you even bother to read my ramblings? Oh yeah, its all about seeing the cute pics, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Bit of Honesty

Its the middle of the night, the LFM is sleeping soundly, WB is snoring away in the next room and its ideal sleeping situation for me...but I can't sleep. The injustice of what I just typed is overwhelming. So instead, I will enjoy the freedom of typing with two hands, and delve into a little bit of new motherhood honesty.

I'm having a bit of an identity crisis these days. I can't seem to find or recognize myself at all. I know its completely normal..I mean, hell, any number of the major life changes of the past 9 months alone would probably cause an identity crisis of sorts, much less all at once. But here you have it- at moments I feel utterly lost, to myself especially. I know who I am as the LFM's mother, as WB's partner...but who am I now as a person, in addition to those things? Right now I just feel lost. Lost and incredibly boring. I used to be interesting and funny with a quirky edge, and now I am just fat, tired, and incredibly boring.

One thing that may be a difficult factor is that I'm not acting or pursuing acting at the moment, and that's always defined so much of who I am. I feel disconnected from the theatre community here these days, and considering I just left the LFM alone with WB for the first time ever last Saturday, it may be a while before I can even think about doing a show here. I received a phone call yesterday from a casting director in New York, whom I had taken a commercial acting class with several years ago (and who had called me in for a national spot shortly after the class had finished because he liked my work). He was calling to ask me to come in to audition for a commercial, and I had to tell him that I was not currently living in the city. So he asked if I was gone permanently, and I had no idea how to answer that one (especially to a casting director), so I explained that for the moment I was gone because I just had a baby. He congratulated me and said "If you get back in the game, let me know". Ouch! I know I'm no longer in the game, but to hear it spoken out loud crushed a little something in my soul. I'm no longer in the game!

Okay, so then where am I? Where do I even want to be? I've been pining for New York a lot lately, but is that where I really want to be with a child? Or am I pining just a little bit for the life that was?

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to be a mother, I adore motherhood, and I love the LFM with a fierceness I never knew was possible. I would not trade motherhood for all the national spots in the world and I knew the moment I saw that little plus sign that the world was going to be a very different place for me. Its just that I'm still not sure what that place is for me and where I fit in with regards to this new world and the remnants of the old world. WB best summed it up tonight at dinner when he said that between cancer and the move from NYC and death and birth and postpartum difficulties, its like we were picked up by this gigantic tornado and torn from everything we knew and transplanted into an entirely new terrain and we're still standing there dizzy and reeling and asking "What the fuck just happened?".

I'm also realizing that I do get a little bit lonely during the day, even though I try to leave the house at least for a little bit every day. Sometimes the interaction with the cashier at the store just isn't quite enough, and while I do love conversing with the LFM all day, his grasp of sarcasm still leaves something to be desired. Yet somehow our days seem so full that to fit in a little extra socializing seems difficult. How can this be? And why is it that the days seem so much easier when we are out and about all day than when we are just at home most of the day?

I know these are all normal new mama feelings that everyone goes through, yet I somehow feel so pathetic for feeling them. That and the fact that I am by far the fattest I've ever been in my life (all those comfort sweets in this difficult postpartum period have not helped, I'm sure) are just plain depressing.

And then I look over at the bed to my sweet boy and everything softens. None of this is permanent. I just keep telling myself that. These are the growing pains of life, and I will find my way again. This is just one of many moments...and I should be enjoying them.

Actually, what I should be doing is sleeping. Grrrrr.....

Monday, April 7, 2008

Living In These Glorious Moments

The LFM Masquerading as a Penguin

Sitting on the Bench in the Children's Section of the Botanical Gardens That is Dedicated to Mimi, my Brother, and my Grandmother, With My Mother's Oldest Friend, the LFM's MamyOuich

The View From the Bench...Right by a Monkey Statue!

Today is going to be one of those slow days in which very little gets done besides feeding. The LFM is taking forever to finish his breakfast...starting and stopping and dozing. I'm trying to learn to let go and just enjoy these moments. So what that the house is a mess and I have a to-do list? Isn't nurturing and loving my baby always on the top of that list? So I say fuck it, and I cuddle and coo and love and nurse and at the end of the day I may not be able to say I crossed a lot off my list, but I will always be able to say I accomplished a lot. Its just a matter of reorganizing my of the millions of little adjustments into motherhood. The LFM makes me live more in the moment than I ever have, and that's such a gift to me.

My favorite time of day is morning. We have these lazy mornings, where we take our time waking up. I usually wake up just a few minutes before the LFM, with enough time to go to the bathroom and come back just in time for him to start opening his eyes. That's when the magic begins. When he sees me its like the most miraculous thing in the world has occurred to him...that lady, the one with the boobs and the smiles, she's here!! Never mind that he's been cuddling with me all night, nestled against the security of my warm body, nursing on and off through the night...its still as if he isn't quite sure what he'll find when he opens his eyes and he thinks he's hit the jackpot yet again when I'm there. I can't describe to you how wonderful that feeling is. I must be doing something right to be greeted that way each morning.

From there we spend a lazy 15 or 20 minutes just hanging out and talking and smiling. The LFM is becoming more and more talkative every day, though whether he coos in English, Spanish, or French we have no idea. He seems to like being spoken to in French and Spanish better than English, but maybe that's because they are more melodic languages. What's interesting is that I've noticed that he speaks differently to WB than he does to me, like he's already developing his own different way of interacting with his father. Then yesterday at brunch with Mim, Charles Benoit, and Uncle Noah, I noticed he spoke the same way to Charles Benoit and Uncle Noah. Its like this louder more insistent voice he uses when talking to other guys. Its so interesting to me to see this socialization occurring so early!

Our little monkey has also found his hands. We're not sure when exactly this occurred, as it was a quiet natural affair with little pomp and circumstance, but somewhere along the way he just kind of started regularly putting his fist in his mouth instead of accidentally. He still sometimes seems like he's flailing around with no control over his arms, but then he'll just pop that hand right into his mouth with perfect aim whenever he wants to, so I'm positive he's got some serious motor skills, he's just like his father in that he's quiet and modest about these things.

As much as I'm enjoying gushing, I'm going to go do some more cuddling and cooing now- he's done eating and it won't be long before he reaches the days where he doesn't want to cuddle anymore so I'm shelving the other responsibilities for the day and enjoying these moments while I can.

As I typed that, I got an enormous smile from the LFM, so clearly, he agrees.

very important side note: its also our anniversary today....2 years, though they have been so full and rich and together we've faced many challenges so it seems much more like 20 years. WB, you are my joy, my breath, my spine, mi alma. I cannot imagine a life without you by my side, and am ever thankful to the universe that we found our way here.