We could've gone anywhere last weekend but we chose to go back to PSU and boy was it the best choice. Thanks for the most perfect girls wknd away, Sarbear.
10yrs ago this place was our home. And in my mind and heart it always felt like that but as the years passed on it turned a bit hazy. My memories were a bit mixed with emotions of chapters gone by and honestly I wasn't sure how I was going to feel when I stumbled back to campus last weekend with SKR in tow. But you know how it felt? AMAZING! I cannot begin to describe how perfect and fun and plain silly those 48hrs in State College were. We grimisced before tasting our first cafe 210 tea since lord knows when (not bad! we were expecting to be mildly disgusted)…we giggled down college avenue at the $6.95 all you can eat Mac n cheese special at the Diner (Momo would go crazy for that!)…and we ran into old aquaintences and folks that were doing the same thing that we were, simply enjoying the goodness of our college town. When we passed old houses of ours or homes that were the "it" party house, we'd sneak on the porch for a quick picture only to run away quickly with oh-my-god-remember-whens flowing from the archives of our memories. We paid for rounds of drinks for undergrads because that's what oldheads did for us. We cheersed with strangers at the Phyrst (for the glory!) and kept it up both nights. We said "okay one more drink, just one more bar…" on Saturday night only to end up staying til close (and almost giving $20 to the sweet seniors we met to pay for their drinks at Sharkies...god I'm such a MOM!)
We could've gone anywhere last weekend but we chose to go back to PSU and boy was it the best choice. Thanks for the most perfect girls wknd away, Sarbear.
Morgan you are on fire recently. If you can predict an individual's personality at the ripe age of 18mo, I'm going to have to go out on a limb and say that you are going to be a total spitfire, chatterbox and inquisitive little human. You scream defiantly and glare back until one of us blinks when: I ask you for something back that you sneakily stole from daddy's bedside drawer or when I happen upon you in your bedroom trying to make the crevice between the chest and crib your "hiding spot." You like your private exploration time even if it's just your toy bin and the nursery door is halfway closed. It's like you are a teenager wanting your space already and it reminds me so much of myself! I love my alone time and quiet discovery of things…now in NYC, but prior to you or Daddy or wherever I was in any previous chapter in my life, I always needed to carve out solo time. Your Morgan vernacular isn't that robust quite yet (mama, dada, dog, up, yeah!, no, please, thank you, hi, banana, apple) but your babbling is hilarious to me and Daddy. We will be sitting on our bed and you'll come to the doorway and say "wudja wudja wudja ooo? Yeah!" And we laugh and say "right on sister!" as you scurry away. Sometimes when I say do you want to watch Elmo or Doc, you stop in your tracks and look to the side and start babbling some soft conversation to yourself as if you're reasoning the choices I just handed to you. And I always say "what was that?" to which you enthusiastically reply "YEAH!"....I think you forgot the question;). And your penchant for learning? It's definitely giving me the push I needed to get you into a 2s program come January. The classroom is your oyster and seeing you thrive in music and art class has been the greatest joy. You are ao determined to be noticed by the teachers it's a bit freightening to see the teachers pet in me come out in you! You'll go around all the other kids to make sure the instructor sees you helping to clean up MULTIPLE times with handfuls of toys. And you run back to my arms after with a proud smile that says "did you see that? I did it!"
May you always know how much we love to watch you grow and develop into who you want to be and who you already are. All those silly tendencies (like wearing all of your bucket hats all at once, or insisting we carry you bc you love being high up to see the world) are just the beginning of your childhood years and I cannot think of anything better in life than to watch it unfold right before my eyes.
Love you my little lovie :)
Remember that time SKR and I went back to Penn State and pretended we were 21 again and then I came back sick as a dog and to a child with croup? This was sneakily one of the most difficult weeks of motherhood since the TerribleCrazy (my new term for my PPA period.)
Sleepless nights, snot, and refusal to take medicine (yes I've tried every trick) has been the norm this week and I was shattered by last night. Falling asleep on the couch at 8pm, I finally gave in and called it a night. I felt so guilty leaving Morgan this morning with the nanny but it was time. And you know what? We both needed a break from each other. (First time in a while that she waved goodbye and kissed me and giggled as I left...she needed someone else's love for a day and I was happy to pass the reigns). So today for the ridiculous rate of $16/hr, I am paying for peace. I paying for a glorious catnap outside on Sheep Meadow. Leftover banana pudding and a green juice for lunch. Finishing (sadly!) my new bible, Carry On Warrior. And maybe that's why these Thursdays of mine are so necessary...I come home so completely recharged. (Seriously what did we do before when our whole lives were about ourselves and recharging was just our LIFE outside of work??? Please fill me in former self, I don't remember enjoying and being so full of gratitude for peace this much!)
In a few hours I'll be ready for bubbles and doc mcstuffins and sandbox play on 68th & CPW…but now, right now...excuse me while I get back to this.
Around Morgan's 5wk birthday was when I started down the anxiety ridden slope of nap schedules and feeding routines. All consuming were my thoughts on her day to day, minute-to-minute (see pic, I'm not kidding.) everything I had no space in my brain for anything else but those specific goals. A mother of 4 who's husband works with Lee was the bearer of my paranoid phonecall one day when I felt like I was in the deepest most dark of all baby trenches. And her words were "just keep working towards & envisioning what you want the day to look like with Morgan." It stuck with me, even as I had loads of struggles left to unearth, those words.stuck.with.me. As new Moms, everyone is barking for answers. There are those who are piiiiiining for the "you're doing it right!" commentary or the need for validation that your child isnt the only one who wont sleep. I was there once. I reached out to anyone I knew with kids and was like TELL ME WHAT TO DO. And the truth is, there was no right answer. The answer was that after working on a scheudle and routine for Morgan from 10wks til 6months…it finally clicked. YEP, I'm talking 3+ months of the same thing, day in and day out. Is it binding? Yes. But I was rewarded with an amazing sleeper and baby who is as predicatable as babes can be----which is to say, not at all…but in the scheme of things if it is 645pm and we are out to dinner and not a single additional episode of MMC will calm my fired up girl…well, duh, it's almost bedtime. Or if like today the 18mo well visit at the doc's ran late and Morgan whacked at the nurses head. Why? Because it's 530pm and dinner shouldve been had 30min ago. It affords me the ability to weed out the reasons for meltdowns, and allows my girl to be happy, healthy and well-rested.
Other routines in this house of ours…
*Date night! Once a week. No questions asked. We schedule a month a head of time, mesh the home calendar with Lee's work and voila. I can't be in this city and be caged in post 7pm every night!
*Music Class, Art Class, Swimming Lessons. I've had to schedule around the nap schedule as it evolved from 6mo til now but having 2-3 classes/week break up the days and Morgan just loves the classroom setting. (Wonder where she gets that from?;)
*Part-time nanny. We are very fortunate to be able to afford some help during the week. Mondays & Thursdays are when I get everything done & bikram…then explore and wander and read and shop. Sometimes it's mindless, other times I'm on a mission. It's really me. It's how I opporate and I come back totally rejuvenated as a Mom but mostly as myself. I never thought in a million years that as a stay at home Mom I would need a break, or a day or two to retain parts of who I am. I just thought…it's my job, and that's that. But these child-free days make me able to be most present and aware of Morgan because I can balance. (Ask me how I do this when we decide to have another child. No not soon;)
*Saturday mornings. When we are in the city, it's bagels & coffee on Saturday mornings then off to walk the Ramble visit the ducks or hunker down on a blanket in Sheep Meadow. We've been doing it since moving uptown and it feel like a part of the famliy. Like ah, there you are friend…my favorite chunk of hours all week.
What are some of the routines your family likes best?
Happy Tuesday friends…just days away from it being officially SUMMER! (the 91* and humidity today is a "springtime" joke.)
*Every new phase of having your first child is the *best* phase…
*until 16-18mo…when I believe the pre-verbal tantrum explosion is at an all time high.
*but the hugs & kisses are worth it.
*Father's Day for Lee…nailed it.
*Things on my brain this morning: Why can't everyone just be happy for everyone? Comparison is the theif of joy. All I know is love. Acceptance. Everyone's story is theirs to tell. Let's be supportive friends. Listen. Lend ears. Build each other up. Stop questioning why others do things and instead ask them to tell their tale. People just want to know that they are *heard*
*If someone would have told me the combination of vitamins and holistic stuff I would take in post-Zoloft would require a granny style pill case, I would have laughed. Active folate, Vit D, Magnesium, Fish Oil, Maca, Total Amino Acid supplement. Whoa. But feels good.
*OJ totally did it. (20 years later: The People vs OJ: What the jury didnt hear). Yep, my Saturday night and it was perfect. Mindless.
*Summer nights are making me really want a house. And a patio. A grill. And the ability to see a sunset. 2015 Burb Move, 1…UWS dark apartment, 0.
I took half of my solo Sarah Thrusday time last week to bop down to the Lower East Side. It’s a different city down there. Bordering Chinatown and between the unrecognizable food and peking ducks in what seems like every window, one could easily feel like you’re on Asian soil. A 180 from the blanket wrapped comfort of the UWS or West Village or Chelsea to me, the LES is a neighborhood which I never lived and only randomly dine out. (I blame that on the B train, a crosstown subway that can get us UWSàLES, being a part-time employee off the MTA and not working weekends.) It is a bit of a mystery to me and honestly I feel like such a poser and faux tourist when down there checking my GoogleMaps GPS to find shops or a juice bar even in my denim vest (dress to mesh with locals, of course.) It makes me edgy if we are on the truth line. Not the vest. The neighborhood. It makes me feel edgy and uncomfortable. And I don’t know why…
My phone died somewhere on Clinton Street and after my 6th attempt of bopping into & shopping at local boutiques where I found nothing I liked or in my price range, my spirit was waning. So Uptown I walked. Across Houston and from Clinton we mesh into Ave B. Ah, a bit of me again. For a few of those first years in New York I lived in the East Village (7th & 2nd to be exact) and that street floods me with memories. Of living with my sweet forever pal Kate. Of first months of date nights spots with my new boyfriend (now hubby). Of how I would drive up 1st Ave from Brooklyn after work, bang a left onto 7th and pray for a street spot in front of dear old 48 ½. The laundry mat with the same teeny tiny adorable Asian couple owners is still operating at max capacity. So as I looked for lunch that day last week, I had thought I wanted something new. But I eneded up at Via Della Pace. Next door to my old, old apt. (Just now as I typed away, the super of that old apartment home of ours waved “HEY THERE!”---and we exchanged a slew of catch up life comments including my favorite from him : “Wow! You married that guy!) I ordered the lasagna and of course the romana bruschetta. And sat and took in the vibe that once was a constant day in and day out. This unnerving feeling comes over me in little pangs as I let my mind wander…and I think a similar feeling overtakes me whenever I’m in a location or city that was once my world…my early 20s still figuring it all out one. Finding my husband in this crazy city and starting our life together is when all my internal anxieties fade (falling in love will do that to you I suppose;) It is why when I lunch in Chelsea or take Morgan for cookies at Birdbath Bakery in the west village, I feel warm and happy. I feel encased in love. It feels right and authentic and the best of life abounds. It’s funny how an environment can affect you so much, right?
I want this to be our thing. Whether it be a long day after your first few days of kindergarten, or when you're home sick w the flu, or after an exhausting late night for <insert after school activity>, or it's fall break of your freshman year of college and it's just been awhile since you've felt "home" like this...couch snuggles. I hope this can always make you feel as safe and relaxed as it does at 17mo old. I hope it makes you feel as loved and cozy as it does right now. I hope the memories of it build right now as your small size fits right in that nook, always and forever.
Tonight: toddler sniffles and runny nose and...Micky Mouse Clubhouse on repeat;)
Today is my 31st birthday. You have ingnited in me something that was so dark and untouched until you came into our world. My dear girl, it's like watching my heart relive life through your eyes each and every morning. When I pick you up from your crib with my "good morning sweetie!"…I scoop you up and you stand on the windowsill watching quietly as the taxis and buses cart all the city folk off to work. You stare and soak in the amazement of your world with a peacefulness that is beyond your one of age. (You must be an old soul like your Daddy) That peace teaches me lessons in patience, appreciation and compassion for the little things which is just an unparalled gift. And that glare hits me like a wave of goodness. You are my mirror to the past, the being that keeps me so consciously in the present, and the little stinker that gives me such joy in all that the future holds.
What's so interesting about being your Mama is that it is I that grew you and gave you life…but in effect, it is really you who has done that to me tenfold. Thank you for infecting me with your everything…but especailly that hilarious belly laugh for which can only be described as Aunt Elizabeth's soul twin chuckle ;) I wouldnt take back a single laugh line (where did those come from?) from all the smiles you gave me this year of my life.
I love you my little lovie!!
I would guesstimate that we've taken close to 1000 of pics of Morgan since she's been born. I'm sure this number decreases with every child but in our iPhone world where documentation is so easy, I can't even guess as to how many photos we will have of her by the time she is all grown up. That being said, there are ones like this that will always stand out. Always passed down. And always cherished in such a special way. It's hard for me to post photos of me with Morgan from those first 6mo of her life. My smile is so forced. I was wearing that goddamn same gap longsleeved tee. But the last pic? The one a year later with both grandparents? Full circle. Wow. Ps: Morgan loves her GG & Grampa Red!!