Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Three Months of Edith

I've learned a lot in the three months since Edith was born -- in particular, exactly how fast babies grow. Her three-month "birthday" was only last Thursday, yet I can hardly believe she's the same tiny newborn we brought home in November. Sure, the chubby cheeks are still there, but she's grown so long and lean that I can barely call her an infant any longer. It's like she's a little girl already!

Here are just a few of my favorite photos from the last three months. Some you've already seen, some you haven't, and some are from my talented sister-in-law, who took amazing pictures at Edith's baptism. The most recent are at the top. Enjoy.

In her big girl clothes!

Getting ready for her baptism.

Almost baptism time!

With Grandpa and Grandma, just beginning to smile.

I never thought I'd be the type of mom to take pictures of my kid's hands. Yet here I am.

Almost Christmas!

So sleepy, so tiny.

Bein' goofy.

Chubby cheeks.

And so it began.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Hello, Wyatt!

Many congratulations to my sister, Katie, and her husband, Jay, on the birth of their son, Wyatt James!

Wyatt was born at 2:28 p.m. Saturday, February 23, exactly one week past Katie's due date.

I'm so excited for Katie and her family, and I can't wait to meet my nephew. And I've already told Edith that she has to be a big girl now -- she's not the baby of the clan anymore!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Come Back, Internet!

Since Paul and I got iPhones in 2009, most of my home computing has been done on my mobile device. I check Facebook and Twitter multiple times a day, I often see what the temperature is outside and most of the news I read comes from the New York Times app.

But one thing I had never done is write a blog post on my phone. This very one is the first. That's because our home Internet has been mostly out all week, and when Paul called Verizon on Monday, the earliest a technician could visit was today.

The blog post I had planned for today was written, but I wanted to add a few photos that my sister-in-law emailed me that I hadn't yet saved on the computer. No luck doing that on this Blogger app.

I'm not even sure blog posts can be pre-scheduled on the app. So here I am, shortly before 6 a.m, comforting Edith, tapping out a post on my phone and realizing how much I still depend on home Internet service.

Regularly scheduled blog posts will return next week. Hopefully.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Party's On

Each year Paul and I have looked forward to our annual dinner party -- if you can call a get-together with too much food and too few chairs a dinner party. For each of the last three years, we've hosted it at the end of February. The anticipation gets me through the long, dreary winter.

With a brand spanking new baby, we weren't sure if we'd be up for hosting it this year. But a few weeks ago we took the plunge and sent out the invitations. The party's on!

But with a few changes. Instead of a Saturday night dinner party, we're holding a Sunday brunch -- think 2010's brinner party, but at a more traditional time for the food served.

At our previous parties, the last guests have left late into the night. It's not exactly conducive to putting a three-month-old to sleep. But with a brunch, we can have our (coffee) cake and eat it, too, maybe with a side of ice cream: we can host our get-together and keep Edith on her fuzzy schedule. And we get to introduce her to some of our closest friends in New York!

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to this Sunday. (Look for a wrap-up next week on how the party went.) Here's hoping Edith doesn't decide to wake me every two hours Saturday night. I've got coffee cake to make!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Presidents (Day) by the Book

Happy Presidents Day weekend! That means it's time for an update on how Paul and I are doing on our goal to read one biography of each US president.

Unfortunately this year there isn't much to report. In 2012 I read a total of two presidential biographies: one on William Howard Taft (which I wrote about last Presidents Day) and another in October on Woodrow Wilson.

Paul is a book or two behind me, but he is doing his best to keep up his blog, Presidents by the Book. In fact, he just published a post earlier this month.

We haven't given up the project -- how could we, when we're nearly two-thirds of the way done?! But obviously we have slowed down. At this rate we'll be lucky to be to Obama by the time his successor is elected. If you haven't noticed, we've had another thing or two on our plates.

Next up: Warren G. Harding, a newspaper publisher and fellow Ohioan. And the 29th president on the list of 44.

No blog post on Monday. Have a great holiday, and come back on Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Edith Turns 12 Weeks Old

It's difficult to believe that 12 weeks ago today I was holding my brand new baby. Time flies. Soon she'll be a teenager!

But seriously, 12 weeks does seem to be a milestone, for many other mothers if not for me. While some mamas go back to work sooner, it seems that many are back on the time clock after the 12-week mark.

Although I won't be going back to an office, the calendar does remind me that it's time to seriously consider freelancing. I'd like to put off starting, however, until I'm consistently nursing way south of six hours a day!

So far, I'm enjoying being a stay-at-home mom, but it still feels like a novelty. The luster has indeed faded -- it doesn't take too many poopy diapers for that to happen -- but I enjoy being able to spend the day with Edith. I don't enjoy staying indoors all day, of course, but I sincerely believe that will change as the weather improves.

Day by day, staying at home gets more rewarding. I've seen her first smiles and watched as she began to recognize my face. Now we're working on rolling over -- so close! The rewards seem small from the outside. But they're not.

Of course, some days are more frustrating. Again, it doesn't take too many poopy diapers for that to happen. But overall I'm satisfied.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Finding "Nemo" in Brooklyn

In the last two years, New York has seen two hurricanes and even a small earthquake, so it's only natural that a blizzard was to be next on the list.

Worries about winter storm Nemo began Thursday, when drivers hoarded gas, remembering the shortages and rationing after Hurricane Sandy. Our car already had half of a tank, so Paul didn't have to bother filling up. Still, he took the subway into work instead of driving. I was glad he did. The snow, rain and then snow again began just in time for Friday's morning commute, was even worse for the evening commute and didn't let up until early Saturday morning.

But when all was said and done, the storm wasn't bad at all, at least in our area of Brooklyn. News reports say that Central Park got 11 inches of snow, but I'd be surprised if Bay Ridge got half that. There were certainly enough flakes to cover the sidewalks and streets, but not so much that the plows hadn't cleared the roadways here pretty quickly.

Of course, we were lucky. Parts of Long Island got two feet of snow, and accumulation in Connecticut reached upwards of three feet. In Bay Ridge, however, it was just a normal snowfall.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Paul's Baby Beard

Paul often forgoes his razor during long weekends and sometimes during vacations, so I wasn't surprised when he didn't shave for a few days after Edith was born in November.

But day piled onto day, and his shaving cream sat firmly in its place. Before I knew it, he had a beard.

Baby beard barely noticeable the day after Edith's birth ...

... but take a look two months later at Edith's baptism!

Paul knows I don't particularly care for it, and I'm pretty sure that's exactly the reason he kept it for the first few weeks. But he also got some compliments at work. Now he's used to not shaving every morning, so I don't know when it will come off.

In all honesty, it's not as bad as I thought it was in the beginning. I prefer him clean-shaven, but I don't bug him to get rid of the beard (anymore). I liken it to my short hair: Maybe Paul would prefer it long, but there's little he could say to convince me to grow it out. I like it short, so that's that. So if Paul likes his beard, then that's that, too.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Edith and Strangers

New York isn't exactly known for its hospitality, so the friendly comments we've received from strangers since Edith's birth have been a pleasant surprise.

I've received a "God bless you" or two as I've carried Edith through restaurants -- which gives me hope that other patrons don't find kids as much of a nuisance as I often fear. In church, complete strangers have approached us before and after mass asking her name and age, and commenting on what a good baby she is. After Edith kept her eyes shut through a service a few weeks ago, one lady joked that it must have been father's sermon that put her to sleep!

By far the cutest run-in with strangers, however, occurred in January. As I pushed Edith along Fifth Avenue, a little girl who looked about 6 years old came running up to her stroller. She inquired if she could look at the baby and asked her name. A second girl -- her twin? -- was quieter, but took a look, too. Both were very polite -- they didn't even try to touch Edith (although she was bundled up so warmly there wasn't much to touch anyway!).

The girls' mother indulged them for a few seconds and then hurried them away after shooting me a vague look of apology. She probably thought they were bothering me. But it made my day.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Don't Honk: Here's Your Sign

New York City has come to the same conclusion that its residents did long ago: no honking signs do nothing to stop the honking.

According to a recent article in the New York Times, the city is taking down all of the "Don't Honk" signs, and there could be none left by the end of the year. Some say that'll ease the roadside clutter, others contend the city is just giving in.

And so it is. But let's admit it: it was a lost cause.

You don't have to be in Manhattan to hear honking in both the middle of the night and the middle of the day. It happens right here in Bay Ridge. Honestly, it's only those 4 a.m. honks that are annoying nowadays. All the others are just background noise, the price your ears pay for living in a vibrant, densely packed city.

The futility of the signs was something Paul and I understood even before we officially became residents. When a real estate agent was driving us from apartment to apartment in the neighborhood, Paul pointed out that the signs really didn't seem to be enforced.

That was an understatement. According to the Times, only 206 summonses were issued last year for "unnecessary use of horn." Of course, I'm sure all drivers would say that their use of the horn was certainly necessary. Certainly.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Stir Crazy

Now that January is over, I have officially done -- or rather, not done -- something I'm not particularly proud of.

I didn't take the subway for an entire month.

That's the first time that's happened since we moved here almost five and a half years ago. And I'm going crazy.

It's not just that I'm not getting out of the neighborhood. I'm not getting out of the apartment.

Of course, it would have been even worse if we wouldn't have gone to Ohio for a week. Then I would have felt even less fresh air last month. Even still, it's tough not going outside for days at a time.

Admittedly, this is within my own control. However, the cold weather, rain, snow and a needy nursing baby have conspired to hold me hostage. In December, I would cart Edith and her stroller to the library: a pleasant stroll for both of us. Now smiting winds hole us up indoors.

I could go out a bit by myself, but she always seems to be hungry for most of the evening by the time Paul is home from work. Then we eat supper, and then I'm too tired to go anywhere.

I know it'll get easier, especially when it's warmer and Edith and I can take long walks or go to the park. Until then, I'm thinking something I never thought I'd think: I miss my freezing cold walks to the subway every morning.


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