Best Decision Ever.

Ummm…can we just skip over my explanation of not writing during the last 15 days? Ok. Thanks. More importantly – I couldn’t wait to write this post. 

We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout. Really we did. Swear on June and Johnny we did.  And when we made that decision it was filled with worry and anxiety. Are we doing the right thing? Yes. Are we too young? Yes. Will we make it? I sure hope so. But once we were married and living our little life in NYC – all that worry went away. We had a great first year of marriage. Lots of traveling for work and for pleasure. Lots of painting the town red. Not a care in the world. If we wanted to eat out at 2 AM, we could. If we wanted to leave at a moment’s notice to hop a plane to a tropical island, we could. But in reality we never did. We were pretty tame. But we were happy.

Right after the holidays we decided that this would be the year we had a baby. Unlike the wedding/marriage/decision to stay together forever thing- this was an easy one. I loved kids. He…didn’t hate kids. It was perfect. We talked it through. We made a 6 month plan. We’d get our finances locked down. We’d figure out if we could stay in the apartment. We’d figure out if we needed to buy a car. We’d take part of the year to really sort it out. But we forgot something important.

I am a fertile myrtle.  My body was made for baby bearing, and I’m not just talking about my hips. Just looking at babies could get me pregnant. And indeed, just thinking of having a baby was all it took. Well, not ALL it took. I’m not magic, but you get the point. I got pregnant quickly. Supersonic preggers. Look Ma, I got skills!

We were so excited. I won’t brag about how easy breezy the first months were. No morning sickness. No nothing. Just happy little butterfly flutters in my belly. We found out what we were having, because, well, you know. I’m nosy. I need to know things.

A girl!! Exactly what we wanted.

After that, instead of a Friday night movie – we’d head to Barnes and Noble and look up baby names. There must be an Irish/Ukrainian/Indian name right? Not so much. We knew the middle name would be Anne, because 1) Indians don’t really have middle names so I was open to anything and 2) My husband’s family has a long line of strong, beautiful women with that middle name. She could have no other middle name.

But there was an Indian first name that I loved. Asha. It means wish. Not just a small, penny-in-a-fountain wish – but a deep, burning, full-of-love wish. Asha Anne? It could work. I began working on my husband, trying to convince him that this was the name for our little one. He wasn’t loving it, but I think I would have talked him into it. Eventually.

2 months into my “Asha” obsession, my husband came home from work with a deeper than usual frown on his face. Then he proceeded to tell me about a woman who’d just started in his group that was making his life miserable. Anyone care to guess what her name was? Anyone? Bueller? No? It was ASHA. What? Come on!  In the words of Vizzini in The Princess Bride – inconceivable!

Long story short, we didn’t go with that name. But we found something even better. There are so many other details about that time that fill my head.

I could tell you about my doctor (I’d never met a Hasidic Jew before and the first time we were introduced he said,” you don’t ask me why I have curls and I won’t ask you why you don’t wear a dot, ok? Loved him). I could talk about the raging postpartum depression I had that lasted for months, and then one day, just turned off like a light. I could talk about how we painted a hallway yellow and called it a baby room (it was beautiful).

I went into labor at 5am. We hopped into a cab and my water broke. The driver didn’t act surprised, #cabsaredirty. I was in labor for a bit and then she was born. I remember my husband clearly saying to me, in the midst of my epidural haze, “we’re a family”. The next few hours, days, weeks, months were a blur.

I’m sure a lot of people assumed she was a “surprise” because we were so young. None of our friends were even married, let alone parents. We lived in a city where it was normal to see a twenty year old strolling around with a baby – because she was the nanny, not the mommy.

But we were unapologetic. She wasn’t Asha, but she was. Because she was a wish. A plan. A purpose.

That was 15 years ago. There’s a ton of words I could use to describe her. She’s funny, smart, beautiful, kind, thoughtful, stubborn, careful, sarcastic, passionate, loyal – I could go on and on.  Every time someone from the outside world tells me how amazing she is, I try not to do what I naturally want to do – which is to say,” I know right?”. I just say thank you and go cry in a corner.

Happiest Birthday to my first-born. Here’s what happens when you blink.  Your baby goes from this…

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To this…

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Second best decision ever

11 years ago my husband and I met one of his cousins to go on a skiing trip. They brought their two-year old twin boys and 4-year-old girl – who was best buds with our 4-year-old girl.

Before that weekend we had decided that one kid was perfect for us.  We loved our baby girl. She fulfilled every paternal and maternal need we had.  We were a tight little unit of 3 and we were happy.

Then we went away and everything changed. I don’t know if it was the way the three siblings in the other family clung together, or if it was my husband telling funny stories about his sisters, or maybe it was the memory of how happy I was when my mother told me I was finally going to be a big sister at age 11. Whatever the trigger was, then and there we decided our little girl needed one other person in the world that would share part of her history.

One other person that could understand how frustrating her mother could be, or how nutty her father was, or why we have cake for breakfast on our birthdays. A partner. An ally. Someone who knew what the house that she grew up in smelled like on Saturday mornings. Someone she could be angry at and say mean things to and still be able to sit down to dinner with and laugh. Yep. We needed to have another baby.

I got pregnant a few weeks later.

10 years ago today, I woke up at 4am on a Saturday morning and went into labor. I was supposed to go pumpkin picking that day with my girl and one of my best friends who had come to visit. Instead, my husband and I left them to go to the hospital.

The weather was exactly like it is today, cold and crisp. We lived in Upstate New York and the leaves had changed late that year – so everything was shades of orange and red.

He came like a bullet – in about an hour once I started pushing. And like a bullet, there was some major damage afterwards (I’ll save that for another post).

Since then he’s been a whirl of energy, emotion, comedy and activity. He’s always moving. Even in his sleep he’s moving. He’s smart and quick and always late for something. He says things like,” I love my life.” and “I want to be a kid forever”. Then I go cry in a corner.

And he loves, no adores, his sister. Both are Scorpios, if you believe that sort of thing (I do), but on different ends of the spectrum. She’s easy to trust, warm, welcoming and ready for anything. He’s guarded, careful and likes his routines. Bookends of our family.  Our perfect unit of 4.

So Happy Birthday to our little man. We had no idea how much we really needed you.

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A Full Plate

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Grilled cheese sandwiches have always been my friend.

No steaks
No caviar
No lobster
Not for me

That’s what I had in the Kmart cafe in Albany when I was 10 and my mom told me she was preggers with my sister.

It’s what I had at the Friendly’s across the street from the library in 10th grade with my bestie instead of doing our history paper.

It’s what my boyfriend in college treated me to. I was a cheap date.

It’s what I had when that boy married me and we partied all night and went to a Greek diner at 5am.

It’s what I have now with my punks and their friends on a rockin’ Friday night that ends at 8.

Cheese. Bread. The building blocks to a good life. Fries are good too.

Bard Books

I went to go visit the cutest little baby on the Upper West Side of NYC. I would show you a picture but his parents are normal, private people that don’t need to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram every waking moment of their new baby’s life. Instead they are living in the moment and off the social grid. Freaks.
Look at these books I found for the babe. Forget “Goodnight Moon” – cool babies read these…

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I went with the fish tale…

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They also had Romeo and Juliet…but that’s just crazy.

Do you world Promise?

These two monkeys live in my house and yell and fight and laugh all day long.

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They’ve been at it since she was 5 and he was born.

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They are 5 years apart. Two little Scorpios.

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She was going to be an only child – imagine that! But then we came to our senses and added the ying to her yang.

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They are so different. And so alike. They write each other letters of love and devotion – and then sell each other out at the drop of a hat.

She’s his best friend – says him.

He’s her best friend – says him.

When they tell each other secrets they make a “world” promise. The biggest, most powerful kind of promise. A promise that, if broken, can have dire circumstances. These usually involve hidden candy in their rooms, newly learned bad words or inappropriate videos on YouTube. The usual world promise stuff.

Last night I was writing another blog post and my girl asked what the topic was. When I told her what I was writing about she said,”oh. you should write about me and Jack.” So there you go.

Just another Scorpio Sunday

I’m a Gemini mom married to a Cancer dad livin’ in a Scorpio world with my two kiddies.  My oldest, my goldest, turned 14 today. Gulp.  I know she doesn’t want me to post about her, but I have to. It’s a blogging law.

So in 1998, at 5am ish I woke my hubby up. He was sleeping on the couch because we’d had a fight and I needed the entire queen mattress to myself to get over it…..we walked down our railroad apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (passing uncle Larry as he was about to walk Gracie).  We hailed a cab and headed to Lenox Hill Hospital – about 10 blocks South of us. My water broke in the cab but the driver had us there in 5 minutes (we tipped big for the clean up!).

She was born shortly after, the first grandkid for both our families. There have been lots of great moments in between, each worthy of its own post. Like when she was a few months old and I fell asleep feeding her on the couch and dropped her, or when she ate so much cake at her 1st birthday party that she passed out from the sugar high, or when everyone told me she was turning yellow from all the baby food and I told them it was just her skin tone. Good times.

Smart, Beautiful, Funny, and most importantly ours!

9 year old pumpkin

On October 25, 2003, I had planned on waking up and going pumpkin picking with my little girl.

Instead we welcomed a little pumpkin of our own.

 

You’ll be shocked to know that he was just perfect.

He slept for most of his first year of life. Went in at 7pm and woke up sometimes at 8am (no joke).

When he was awake he just stared at you with that face. And those eyes. It was killer. Still is.

 

Then the hyper speed went into effect.

He grew and grew and grew. Notice the curls. The perfect, insane curls.

 

 

And grew

 

Cut to today.

Cake for breakfast with a 9-year-old silly, funny, happy but sleepy boy. Two seconds after this picture was taken, and right before he blew out this candle, he lifted his leg and farted. True story.

 

 

 

1998

I need to do one more post about my baby starting high school.

It has to happen. Indulge me. I need it. Because I think I’m going to break down.

She was just born – yesterday. I remember it very clearly, and I have an awful memory, trust me – I don’t remember what happened this past weekend.

She was a week early. We were living in New York City in a one bedroom walk-up. My husband was on the couch – because we’d just had a great, big fight and i had kicked him out of bed. I don’t remember what the argument was about but I’m sure I was right. I went into labor at 5am.

We hopped a cab to the hospital – my water broke around 82nd street. I’m sure worse things have happened in a cab. We tipped him well.

Then it’s a blur – involving a revolving epidural and some really great nurses.

And at 9:00 on the dot – she was there.  Botoxed lips and all.  And then everything started on fast forward…

And today – she’s off to high school – 9th grade – 4 years away from college…gulp.  Maybe she won’t go to college, maybe she’ll stay with me forever? Pray for that.

I’m proud, I’m happy, I’m sad, I’m proud.

If I could will the universe to make things good for her I would – but she doesn’t need it. I need it. I need it bad.

Thank god I still have my 10 foot tall baby boy.

Hipstamatic Hysteria

First of all – hello.  Did you miss me yesterday?  I missed you.   Saturday posts are tough in the summer – lots of running around and enjoying the good weather type of stuff.  Don’t worry – it’ll be over soon enough.

I was going to write this post yesterday, and tell you all about the Hipstamatic app.  Do you know about it? Are you loving it? And more importantly, how come no one told me about it?

A fun side benefit – now you can sing Grease Lighting and insert the word Hipstamatic every time Danny Zucko says the word automatic.  Seriously, I’m singing it in my head right now. Lots of fun.

Where were we…. It’s the coolest app of all apps.  Really.  Go get it.  Instagram who? You’ll never look back. It’s worth the $1.99 price tag (and then I may have added a few upgrades to drive that price to $3.00).

Anyway – we had some good friends over to visit this weekend and had loads of fun – this morning we took them to our favorite antique/flea market.  Here’s our outing in hipsta photos…

 

This is my pal and her hubby.  Aren’t they extra cute? Love them.  The other shot is of her and my little guy.  She met him 2 seconds after he was born.  Let’s just say she thought she was coming up for a relaxing weekend in the country and instead she was part of 3 ring circus that involved:  semi-graphic post birth horror show (I’ll save the details for another time), Indian relatives streaming in and out of said horror show, and me, all drugged up and completely oblivious to how close I was to death.  Good times.

 

They had some cool stuff at the market – but I think it looks even cooler with these funky filters.  I feel very cutting edge and mod.

 

 

I didn’t buy anything cutting edge and mod – I bought what I always buy.  A pair of big earrings.  I also bought this little leprechaun statue thingi for a friend because I immediately thought of her and her man when I saw it.  When I got home and looked at it more closely I realized it was a drunken little man leaning up against a post which is slightly offensive – and makes me even more excited to give it to her! Is that bad?

 

Here’s two more random, non related shots.  Please consider yourself lucky – there are 1,000 more pictures I won’t be posting!

Look! The Hipstamatic makes my girl look even cooler and prettier – didn’t know that was possible.  And look! It makes a random sky shot seem moody and Twin Peaksesque.  Ok – I’ll stop. For today.

 

40 is the new black

At 10 I was living in Albany,NY with my parents enjoying my last year as an only child, having as much fun as I could, happy as a clam.

At 20 I was in NYC, going to college, shacked up with my boyfriend, his family became my family, my friends were my life, I was completely clueless and again, happy as a clam.

At 30 I was married to that boy, we moved out of NYC, we had our first house, our first baby, and absolutely no idea of how we were going to make it, and I really was happy as a clam.

At 40 I am still shacked up with that same boy (legally),  we have another house, in another town, 2 punky kids that are surrounded by love (thanks to our unstoppable family and friends), and, well, you know. Clam. Happy. Me.

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