Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Saturday at the Met

I'm surprised to say that having a baby is actually helping me get out of the house these days. Tim has always been the kind of New Yorker who wants to, you know, SEE New York on the weekends. He wants to go to museums, parks, concerts, that sort of thing. I'm the kind of New Yorker who wants to sleep until 4 pm on the weekends, and then eat junk food in the apartment until it's time to go to sleep again. Now Lucy Loo wakes us up early on the weekends, so we've been getting out the door at a reasonable hour and enjoying the city.

On Saturday, we headed to Manhattan to the only place I seem to go lately--the sling store! I really wanted to have the ladies there show me how to carry Lucy on my back. It didn't work as well as I hoped...she's not quite big enough yet to be comfortable on my back. She's close though. The lady who helped us was showing me how to swing Lucy over my shoulder and onto my back, and she demonstrated on herself with Lucy. Afterward, she said that it's obvious that Lucy is a "worn baby" because she laid so calmly on her back. I liked that. I like that there's something in Lucy that shows that we wear her all the time, since that's such an important part of our parenting philosophy. Anyway...I got a new baby carrier called a Baby Hawk. It's beautiful! Tim says that when Lucy is in it, she looks like a birthday present. I'll put pictures up soon! It's cooler to wear, so I imagine that Lucy will be more comfortable in it as the weather heats up. It's also good for back carries, which I'm hoping Lucy will be able to do soon.

We left the sling store and realized that it was still early, and we were right next to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So we showed Lucy some art.

And some more art.

And we breastfed.

This is the classiest place I've ever nursed in public. We are fancy ladies, us two.

I'm happy that as long as we're living here, Lucy is getting to take advantage of some of the unique things New York has to offer. Not that she'll remember, but when she gets big we can always tell her that she breastfed among Greek sculptures at the Met.

She's 3 months old today

I love you so much, Baby Girl.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Becoming happy...Update

So far, my becoming happy efforts are really paying off.

One of my goals is finding other parent friends. I joined a local new moms group, and I hope that Lucy and I can go to their Walk in the Park meeting on Thursday. And today Lucy and I braved the subway alone for the first time, so we could go to the Attachment Parenting meeting in Manhattan.

It wasn't too bad! Lucy was awake on the ride to Manhattan, but she just looked around quietly and blinked at everyone. She slept the whole ride home. It was empowering to realize that we did ok...maybe now we won't always be stuck in Astoria!

The meeting was great. Oh wow, was it great. It was small, only 5 or 6 moms and their kids, but that made it cozy and intimate. We talked about various mamaing dilemmas we have. I brought up feeling guilty about going to the gym, because I know Lucy will likely have a melt down while I'm gone. The other mamas had some smart ideas that I'll definitely try. And the kids at the meeting were adorable. One little girl kept talking and singing to Lucy--it was cool that she treated her like a real little person, not just like a doll. And when I laid down to breastfeed Lucy, the girl laid down on the other side of her and petted her hair. Awwwww. After the meeting (which was in a sling store), the store owner gave me a lot of advice about how I can wear Lucy on my back. Babyhawk, here I come!

Speaking of going to the gym, I went to the gym again. Tim said that Lucy did really well up until a few minutes before I got home. She was still screaming when I walked in the door, but at least she was easier to calm down this time.

I decided that my new hobby is going to be learning Spanish. I joined this site called Live Mocha, which is kind of a combination of Rosetta Stone and Myspace. So far it's a lot of fun. I'm still kind of thinking about getting a job, or going back to school. We'll see with that I guess.

And things with Tim are going well. He's been taking Lucy in the mornings, so I get to sleep in a little. They bring me breakfast in bed every day! We've been disco dancing more, taking more walks together, and just having more fun. That's my favorite thing about our relationship, how much silly fun we have. We lost some of that when Lucy was born, but it's coming back! Get ready for a blog dance challenge, ya'll!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sleepy moose

Tim just put up an adorable video of Lucy being sleepy.
Here are some cute photos of her, also being sleepy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hooray, we went to the zoo!

I went with them.

To see these.

Well, and snow leopards, and funny tropical birds, and monkeys. But sadly, no chinchilla-like anythings. Those are always our favorite animals to look at in the zoo.

Don't you just love quotes from books when they appear exactly where they belong in real life? When I was working at a bookstore in high school, I got to dress up in a Wild Thing costume and be the Wild Thing at story time. It was sweet. We had a Wild Rumpus, did the hokey pokey, and my mom came to watch me. I should get this book for Lucy.

And of course, Lucy and I breastfed. It's what we do.

Here's my cute story from the zoo...While I was changing Lucy in the bathoom, I heard a little girl say to her mom, in German, "A little little baby!" I smiled at her and said, "Yeah, a little little LITTLE baby!" She asked me how old Lucy is, and her name, and I told her. Then the mom said something super fast in German...Oops! My German definitely isn't THAT good anymore. It turns out she was asking how Lucy got all her hair. And she said my German seemed so good that she thought I was German! Well, at least until I couldn't understand her!

So that means that in one weekend, I had conversations with two little girls, in two languages I barely speak. Holy gajumpins, I should call Grandpa HoHo to tell him. I think he would really appreciate that! I guess that's a point for living in New York City. This wouldn't have happened (not in one weekend at least) in St. Louis. Plus, when we were at the zoo, it seemed like practically every Asian family we saw was an Asian and white family. That's another point for New York. I do wonder if it would be easier for Lucy to grow up as a biracial girl in NYC than in St. Louis. Any thoughts?

Hooray, we went to the playground!

On Friday, Lucy and I went to our neighborhood playground with Elizabeth and Judah. I'd walked past before, but never stopped in. I didn't realize it would be such a hot bed of potential mama friends! Well that might be overstating it, but there was a mom of a 15ish month little boy who mentioned in passing that she also wore her son in a wrap, and they loved it. Look out lady, because next time I see you, I'm friend-hitting on you!

It was really sweet...I wore Lucy in the Moby, and when she woke up, I sat on a bench and breastfed her. There was a little old lady there with her grandkids. I'm guessing she was Tibetan. She was wizened, toothless, and wearing the most regal outfit I've ever EVER seen in New York. She was splendid. Like this lady, but fancier.

Tibetan Grandmama looked approvingly at Lucy in the Moby, and when I started breastfeeding, she nodded at me. Isn't that wonderful? It made me feel like women of the world have this incredible thing in common, this mothering thing, and it translates so perfectly. And I love that this woman approved of my baby-wearing, breastfeeding-in-public, attachment parenting. Attachment parenting is so instinctive to me, even if it isn't prodominant in our culture. How awesome to see that those instincts can transcend culture!

Speaking of which, I just found this gorgeous slideshow of baby-wearing around the world.

The other adorable story from that day was a 3 year old girl who was fascinated when I breastfed Lucy. She practically climbed up in my lap when I sat down to feed Lucy, and she wanted to stroke Lucy the whole time she was eating. She kept asking me--in Spanish--what the heck Lucy was doing. The girl was convinced that Lucy was come-ing my teta (eating my breast) and I told her (in Spanish, no less!) that no, she was drinking milk from my breast. The little girl didn't believe me though. Her mom giggled along with me, and said that the girl had never seen breastfeeding. Aww, I'm the breastfeeding ambassador to tiny girls!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lucy + Mama = Total BFF

Lucy and I have a nice time together. She's been so much more interactive lately. It warms my heart knowing that I'm her best friend.

Mornings are her favorite time to play. She's a laughing, adorable riot!

Sometimes we like to get dressed up. This is us in our fancy clothes at a fancy party. I'm having wine and cookies for lunch. Lucy's having breastmilk.

Wow, I can't believe this worked. Lucy let us sit down at our Eurotrashy cafe and have coffee and dessert! She mostly slept, while I tried (unsuccessfully) to not drop nutella crepe all over her head.

Tim loves this picture because he says Lucy looks like she's in a cocoon. I love it, too, because it reminds me of why I love babywearing. It just feels so right. Like, deep in my mama soul. Her tiny little face looks so sweet and peaceful, doesn't it? Sure, I could put her in a car seat and take her to a cafe, but it just wouldn't feel as lovely.

Figuring out how to be happy

We went to an Attachment Parenting Picnic in Central Park this weekend. It was a gorgeous day, and we had a fantastic time. (Tim put up pictures on his blog, too.)

Lucy had a great time, too. It was her first time in Central Park.

Of course, we spent most of our time breastfeeding. It is her favorite hobby, after all.

For me, the best part was meeting other parents who parent like we do. I'm desperate for more parent-friends! Going to the picnic was part of my plan to figure out how to be happy here. I really hate living in New York. I feel trapped. I'm only here because Tim insists on staying here. So basically, if I want to stay married, I'm stuck in New York. Going to St. Louis was a wonderful break from hating the city, but while I was there I realized I need to make the best of an unideal situation. Here's my plan...

1. I'm going to find more parent friends. My best mama friend is moving away next month. I'm so so happy for her and her family, and at the same time jealous that they're moving back home. So especially in light of her leaving, I need to reach out and find more mamas. I really liked the people I met at the picnic. I'm hoping some of them live near us, so we can see each other outside of their events. I also joined some local moms groups. Hopefully I'll find some like-minded mamas there.

2. I'm going to try to be healthier. Before I got pregnant, I was in the best shape of my life. I didn't realize how much that was a part of my identity. Now, 10 weeks after having Lucy, I still have 35 pounds of baby weight, flappy stomach skin, and stretch marks. I don't like how I look or feel. I miss the endorphins I got from working out, and the alone time. I started working out again in St. Louis, and it feels SO GOOD. And Tim's been great about watching Lucy at night so I can go to the gym. But last time I went, I came home to Lucy screaming alone on the couch. It made me feel awful. Really really awful. I know next time I go to the gym I'll be picturing her screaming, and it will make it tough to enjoy myself.

3. I'm going to find a hobby, take a class, or get a part time job. I'm not sure which one yet. I'm trying to decide between learning Spanish, taking trapeze lessons, going back to school for accounting, or the job thing. I just need something to occupy my mind besides parenting. I am a multifacteted person! It's so hard to remember that during my day to day life. It's hard not to let motherhood overshadow personhood. I need to work on that. Hopefully learning or doing something new will help.

4. I'm going to work on my marriage. A new baby is tough on a new marriage, no doubt about that. It's hard not to kill each other. And when things in our relationship feel bad, I feel even worse about living in New York. Like, I'm stuck here for THIS? So I'm going to read some self-help books (ugh, I'm a soccer mom!) about relationships for some ideas. And just try to be nicer to Tim. Now that the baby's getting a little older, I have a tiny bit more time and energy to put towards our relationship. That makes him happier, which makes all of us happier. Happy wife, happy life, right? We've been spending more time interacting in the evenings--taking walks, playing games, just talking. It already feels like it's helping.

I feel like that's a good start. I really hope it works. I don't want to be miserable here!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Lucy and I stayed in St. Louis just long enough for her to meet Mike and Kali.

She really liked them!

She likes Jen, too. Aw man, it was so hard to leave, look how much fun she has here!

Here's Grammi with Lucy right before we left for the airport. She's exhausted from all the packing I made her do.

And we were off!

The flight back was nowhere near as easy as the flight here. Lucy had a meltdown right before we got on the plane. I had to walk down the aisle of a packed flight, all the way down to the back row, with a screaming baby in my arms. Great. Can you imagine the looks we got? And the guy we sat next to was so weird. He kept trying to annex the armrest and part of our seat (you know how guys are) which meant he was smooshing himself right up against me as I breastfed. Thanks, guy. Luckily Lucy didn't cry too too much on the flight itself.

Yep, back in beautiful New York!