Tag Archives: parenting

May 2016 | Currently

It took nearly all month, but the sun is shining and the temperatures are more May-like than November-ish.  So we’re eating ice cream dairy-free sorbet (I’m like, Live a little.  And my stomach is like, Please don’t.).  

Welp, anyway…

currently may 2016

May 2016 | Currently

Currently feeling

  • Grateful for improved weather – that cold, rainy stretch we had earlier this month made me feel positively… negative.
  • Happy that we got to see my extended family this weekend at my cousin’s wedding down the Cape!
  • A bit itchy.  I don’t want to rush nature along and I know trees need their leaves and all, but I wouldn’t mind coming home from a walk or workout and not feeling like I’m wearing a pollen sweat suit.  Or whatever.
  • Proud of my first post-baby 5k with the double stroller and excited for the next race.
  • Relieved (speaking of itchiness) that Clark’s vet referred us to a dermatologist who’s helping us get his allergies in check (hopefully).  We started his immunotherapy injections last night, and I feel like an especially weird dog person, but these are the things you do when you love your aging, semi-grouchy, fully-sensitive French bulldog.  
  • Like I need a new big project or goal or challenge to work towards.  But maybe I should just put away last week’s laundry.

Currently eating

  • Lots of vegetables and fruits and sprouted things.  Not so many nachos and pizzas and processed things.  Girlfriend needs to reign it in a bit.  
  • Aaaaaand the aforementioned lemon sorbet.  With rainbow sprinkles.  Just do it.

Currently listening to

  • The Bon Iver radio station on Spotify — it’s extra chill, which is good, because I am extra not.
  • Catching up on episodes of On Being + Leslie Stahl on Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!
  • Grace sing “Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of rosies!”

Currently watching

  • The OJ miniseries (that’s definitely not the official name, but you likely know what I’m talking about… and you also know I’m too lazy to Google)– I was skeptical when my parents recommended it (sorry!), but Nick and I got completely sucked in. 
  • Daily Drawing Challenge and How to Design Fabric videos on Creative Bug

Currently reading

Currently making

  • Not much of anything art-wise… but I just signed up for a new painting class (Mary Ann Moss’ Oh My Gouache — totally obsessed with the name) and started a new large format sketchbook earlier this week.
  • A batch of these gluten free cranberry and dark chocolate granola bars each week – so delicious, so easy.
  • Lots of baby food — Grace loves to help me feed Nick (almost as much as Nick loves being fed).  It’s so much fun.
  • Plans for the summer.  I can’t wait.

May the last few days of the month treat you well… get it… May…?  Right.  Cool.  Bye.

Also On Tap for Today:

May highlights?

Today: Currently | December, 2015

Needless to say, the highlight of the month year has been welcoming our baby boy.

The last two weeks have been an exhausting, but blissful blur of newborn snuggling, diaper changing, toddler chasing, and trying to remember if I took a shower or not.  I feel like we’re starting to find our rhythm (which basically means nothing, because one thing I do remember from Grace’s early days is that as soon as we got comfortable, things changed — her sleeping schedule, her eating schedule, the weather, you get the point).

currently december double stroller

This may be the Universe’s way of sending a message, but the things that are totally beyond my control (and therefore, the things that I am constantly worrying about) are going beautifully.  Grace is the most gentle, sweet and curious older sister.  We went out for a little ride earlier this week (in nearly 60 degree weather… not normal) and she kept whispering, “Look, baby Nick, more Christmas lights.”  And it made me so happy that I cried and ruined the moment.  

On that note… here’s what else I’ve been up to this month.

Currently | December, 2015

Currently enjoying

  • Newborn baby smell — I’d be a billionaire if I could bottle this smell.
  • Grace’s excitement for all things Christmas
  • Ridiculously warm weather

Currently listening to

  • “Spirituality of Imagination,”  last week’s episode of On Being with Krista Tippett, featuring Martin Sheen—  I love this podcast.  It’s smart, compelling, and thought-provoking and this episode might be one of my favorites.  I loved hearing the actor talk about his return to Catholicism and his commitment to activism.  I laughed, I may have cried (just kidding… I did cry… I cry about any and everything these days), I tried to convince everyone I know to listen.  
  • Season 2 of Serial — Nick and I have listened to the first two episodes together on Thursday nights.  It’s both nice and sort of weird to sit around listening to audio in the same way we might watch television… like, what should I be looking at?  This season is quite different from the first, but I’m already hooked.
  • Adele’s 21 on repeat (still)
  • Christmas music (obvi)

Currently watching

  • The West Wing — I don’t know why I didn’t watch this when it was actually airing (my whole family was obsessed), but after listening to the Martin Sheen interview mentioned above, I had to give it a try.  Blessed be Netflix… we have found our next streaming addiction.
  • This peaceful Santa video on YouTube that my mom shared (Grace loves it)
  • And this version of my favorite Christmas jam, O Holy Night, performed by Berklee students

Currently reading

currently december magazines

Currently loving

currently december bamr bands

  • My new BAMR bands — I am thrilled to be an ambassador for this fabulous brand.  Each quarter, BAMR Bands donates 10% of their proceeds to a selected charitable organization benefitting women and children (past recipients have included Every Mother Counts, a favorite of mine).  To receive a 10% discount on these adorable, non-slip headbands, use the code OnTap10 online.
  • This month’s Nature Box delivery — We’ve had a NatureBox subscription for a while, but this month’s box is an especially good one.  I tried to select items that would appeal to Nick (Spicy Sriracha Popcorn), Grace (Peanut Butter Graham Jam) and me (Guacamole Bites)… but mostly… I’ve been snacking on them all. For 50% off your first delivery, click here (this is a referral link, albeit a tasty one)

Currently making

currently december sparkling cranberries

  • Piles of laundry everywhere — I forgot how many outfits newborns whip through in a day.  Yikes.
  • A painting here, a drawing there —  My current m.o. is “fit in it when you can.” (And try not to make too much of a mess in the process.)
  • Plans for the new year — I’m oddly excited for 2016.  So much changed in 2015 that I felt more reactive and less intentional.  I’m looking forward to being a bit more thoughtfully engaged in the coming twelve months.
  • A few holiday treats, including sparkling cranberries and “happy cakes,” as Grace calls them

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your December currently like?

 

Today: I woke up like this | Cape edition.

Who needs a vacation alarm clock (set for 3 hours earlier than you desire to wake up), when you have a toddler at the foot of your bed?

I woke up like this.  With Grace pinching my toes and yelling, “Hellooooo!”

In an effort to spare the rest of our family the 4:30 wake-up call over the 4th of July weekend, we snuck out for some early morning walks down to the beach.  The Cape might be my favorite place on Earth.  Except for the place where they make popcorn (I’ve never been to a popcorn factory, but I just know it’s magical).

Not a bad way to start the day.

We covered 3.5 miles on Friday on our own, and 2.5 miles on Saturday with my brother and sister-in-law and their own mini-human alarm clock, my niece.  

6 AM pajama parties on the beach are the best.

And with the entire world still sleeping, we had the beach to ourselves and our pick of the prettiest shells.

Any day we are lucky enough to wake up at the Cape (even if it’s at 4 AM), we are lucky enough.

Also On Tap for Today:

How did you spend your holiday weekend?

 

Today: What a difference a year makes.

Oops.  This post is longer than anticipated. 

This time last year, I was wearing a very unattractive, very orthopedic boot thing, having tripped over Grace’s bouncy chair and subsequently broken a toe… just an hour and a half before my family showed up for Mother’s Day brunch at our condo. (Also: My parents were trapped at an airport somewhere, so the guest of honor wasn’t there to be showered with praise and gifts and affection… and to listen to me moan about my toe.)

Ready to party. Or something.

In addition to being temporarily physically crippled, I can’t say I was in the best shape mentally, or whatever, either.  I had been back at work (after a not-so-work-free maternity leave) for a few weeks, was getting up to nurse Grace every couple of hours, couldn’t find anything that fit (nor that matched the boot), and sort of had no idea what I was doing at any given moment.  Having people over to a mostly-clean home, serving mostly-edible food, and not having an entirely unexpected crying episode provoked by a diaper ad, or a cheesy song, or a faint, passing breeze felt like a major, major accomplishment.  

This time last year, I was second-guessing every decision I made, and agonizing over the longterm effects those decisions would have on Grace.  Was she eating too little?  Was she eating too much?  You’ll notice I wasn’t asking myself if she was sleeping too much, because… well… neither of us were sleeping.

I worried I was falling down (no pun intended… but sort of yes, pun intended because I really still can’t believe I tripped over that darn chair) as a wife.  I had no idea how I would manage my work responsibilities and my family responsibilities.  And how, on God’s green earth, was I ever going to get all the laundry done?  Would my body always feel so foreign (and lumpy)?  What would my first work trip away from Grace be like (Fortunately, I didn’t have the capacity at the time to imagine myself using a breast pump in a bathroom stall at the Detroit airport… but now I do.  And you do, too.  Sorry.)?  Would I ever see my friends again (this would likely require staying up past 7 PM)?  Would I ever have anything to talk about besides diaper pails?  Would every single drop-off at daycare feel so heartbreaking?  

It’s taken some time (and I don’t think my toe will ever be the same), but my goodness… What a difference a year makes.  I’m not perfect (you should see what I’m wearing) and life’s not perfect, but so much has changed for the better.  It’s amazing what a little time and confidence (and SLEEP!) can do.

Last weekend I had the chance to celebrate Mother’s Day with my parents and family on Saturday, and with Nick, Grace and Clark on Sunday.  And I felt calm.  And relaxed.  And happy.  And grateful.  And I couldn’t help but notice that life is sort of following the seasons this time around.  Not only is it actually (finally!) Spring, but I’m in the middle of my own transition of sorts.  And it’s full of (I almost said “blooming with”… but I stopped myself) promise and excitement and optimism and a “who knows what might happen?” sort of thing.

At the end of this week (though it’s been in the works for months… aren’t I a good secret keeper? Tell me everything!), I’ll be stepping down from my role at an organization I’ve been with for eight years to be home with Grace.  

I sort of always thought I would work (in the capacity I’ve been used to working, like, in an office).  And I am realizing now, as I make this transition, how much of my ego and self-worth have been tangled up in being busy.  And important.  And in charge.  I’ve also come to see, though, how much of my last eleven or so years have been spent moving from one mini-crisis to the next,  closing out the day with just barely enough energy to be a semi-normal, non-awful person. The good has far outweighed the bad (truly), though, I have loved my work.  I have loved the people I have worked with.  I have loved the people I’ve had the privilege of serving.  I have loved the challenges and the lessons and the surprises.

I know there will be pieces of all this that are not easy, but I also know how lucky I am to have options.  It took a lot of confidence and courage to make this choice, but I wouldn’t be able to make the choice if I didn’t have options.  I know this is not always the case.  Meanwhile, that new boss of mine?  She’s pretty cute.

Also On Tap for Today:

Looking back, what has changed most for you this year?

Today: One year of Grace.

Technically, it’s been a year and five days, but hey.  

Grace turned one last week.  And what a fast, happy, wonderful, challenging, beautiful year it has been.  I snuck into her room at 12:16 last Thursday (she was sound asleep, a rare occurrence) just to see her and watch her and think about that first time we met her at that very same time, on that very same night.

Happy Birthday, Grace!

Yes, that barrette is for real.

 

Becoming and being a mother has been overwhelming in the best possible way.  It has made me tougher and it has made me softer.  It has made me infinitely more in love with the Universe, and it has made me infinitely more worried about things I never paid attention to before.  Like electrical outlets.  And the measles (don’t get me started).  Being Grace’s mother has made me so proud of myself, but it has also put my ego firmly in check.  

Being a parent has made me appreciate my own parents in a way I wish I could have before.  Because I would have been a more grateful, more delightful, better behaved (maybe) child.  I am hopeful that whole “better late than never” thing applies here.  My parents are just the best.  

I used to wonder why people called their children 13-month-olds and 17-month-olds and whatever.  Mostly, I have no idea how people keep track (so math challenged).  But when I think about how much Grace changes each day, let alone each week or month, I kind of get it.  When you’re nearly 33, you really shouldn’t give your age in months.  Because whether you just turned 32, or you almost 33, you’re pretty much the same person developmentally.  In my case: still bad at small talk, still pretty great at color coding, still hate most pants and cooked vegetables, still love checking the mail and taking naps on my yoga mat.

Our 1 year old/12 month old, on the other hand, has become such a person since being the born.   All the changes are both amazing and a tiny bit bittersweet.  

She started talking a few months ago and seems to know new words every few days.  Right now the b-words (not the b-word,  not ever I hope) are her favorites: bath, bubbles, books, baby, and bye.  We’ve practiced some baby sign language (this book has been a great resource) — Grace has mastered the signs for more, eat, milk, all done, and book.  

She has 3 teeth (and 4 on the way), 900% more hair than even two months ago and the teeniest, cutest feet that fit in precisely zero pairs of shoes.  The only thing more confusing than women’s jeans sizing is baby’s shoe sizing.

Grace is starting to let go of our hands and the furniture when standing up, but hasn’t started walking yet.  She likes to dance, climb, crawl, and sneak her way over to the printer and cable box.  She can point to people when we say their names, turn pages in her books, nod when she says “yes,” and wag her finger when someone says “no” (I still don’t know where she learned this — it’s both hilarious and kind of strange). 

She is obsessed with Clark and recently started feeding and kissing and hugging him… and trying to take naps on top of him.  He likes the first three, and tolerates the fourth. 

Grace loves to eat.  She likes being fed, and really enjoys feeding herself.  She has mastered drinking water through a straw, and will soon stop taking a bottle at daycare. I am still breastfeeding her in the morning, evenings, at 2 AM or 3 AM or 4 AM (or whenever Grace feels like it) and on the weekends, but I’ve stopped pumping at work (hallelujah).  I never imagined we’d make it this long (and it hasn’t been easy), but I am grateful.    

We chose to name our baby Grace because we loved the name, but she really is such a grace in our lives.  What a year it has been.

Oh and P.S.: If you’re in the early part of the first year of parenting (or really any time, but especially in the beginning), be gentle and kind with yourself.  You are doing a great job. 

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s changed for your this year?  How many months old are you (just kidding… unless you know…)?