Monday, November 28, 2011
I am truly thankful for my loved ones and for all of the amazing people in my life. I thank my husband for having a heart of gold, for reveling in his newfound fatherhood, and for reminding me each day of the importance, the necessity, of creativity. I thank my sisters for making me laugh, always picking up the phone when I need to hear their voices, and for proving to me that sisterhood is a sacred bond. I thank my friends, near and far, who each hold a little spot in my heart. We have built a loose family with our NYC friends, and I thank them especially for being such a tremendous help so far as we navigate this life as parents. Thank you friends for all of your support, generosity, and last-minute babysitting adventures. You mean the world to us, and you have really shown us that it does indeed take a village. I thank my Dad for showing me what it is to be strong, for encouraging my unquenchable wonder, and for always teaching me that a bit of madness is a wonderful thing. I am thankful that he has finally held Biet in his arms, and that she will know his voice and his song. I thank my neighbors, the citizens of New York City, for creating the hustle and bustle that I so love, for each being a small part of the vast canvas of the city that, when woven together, is the backdrop on which anything is possible. You make NYC, you are NYC (yes, I'm talking to you crazy taxi drivers, businessmen, artists, immigrants, school kids, hot dog vendors, upper east side socialites, lower east side street musicians, transit workers, vagrants, movie stars, politicians, & locals of all neighborhoods in all five boroughs). You are why I love my home. I am thankful for my loving dog Nico (the best dog in the world). Nico, you are beauty, and you are family.
On Thanksgiving eve this year, Biet and I headed out to the local organic market and neighborhood fruit stands, and came home with bags and bags of seasonal produce. I stayed up late that night prepping the veggies and baking a chocolate hazelnut cake, and awoke early the next day to finish up. Then we all three dressed up, arranged our brussels sprouts and asparagus and kale and cheeses onto platters, and headed out to Queens, to our dear friends Joe & Scott's house (Joe & Scott's wedding was the first wedding Biet ever attended, when she was only a couple of months old). When we arrived, we were greeted with food & friends & games, and an amazing turkey baking in the oven. Scott is quite an impressive chef. We lounged all afternoon, stuffing ourselves silly and playing charades. Biet didn't get any turkey, but she did munch on a pear. She also had books upon books read to her, took a nap in the middle of the festivities on their bed, and got to play with Scott's brooch (she was FASCINATED with that pin!). It was quite a lovely Thanksgiving. Thank you Joe & Scott, thank you fall, and thank you holiday season- you are off to a good start.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
My sweet sister Lisa (aka Auntie Lala) decorated her charming little apartment, threw on an apron, and whipped up a beautiful baby shower for our sister Emmy. That's right, Emmy's (second!) son, Dashiell, will be here right around Christmas. I love the name she chose for him, and I can't wait to see his tiny face! It feels as though my own baby shower has just barely passed- yet here I am, attending my sister's, with a 6-month-old in tow. My, oh my, how these little ones grow.
Lisa is a spectacular hostess (and a crafting genius), & created a lovely afternoon garden party (minus the garden, but she did arrange tons of flowers). The ladies arrived, we indulged in cheeses & fruit & cookies & cakes & pie (mmmmm, she is such a good cook!), opened gifts, and talked about all things baby. Emmy was stunning, with her cute bangs and impressive baby bump. Even Biet had a good time: she broke in baby Dashiell's Bumbo seat and hung out with Max, her 3-month-old boyfriend. It was a delightful afternoon with my two sisters. Congratulations Emmy!
Thursday, November 17, 2011
My darling girl, you are six months old. Each day I witness your personality building & shining through more and more. I am in love. You are one strong baby, baby. Your voice is loud. I awake each morning, not to your wailing & cries, but to your lovely voice singing. You lay next to me and sing and sing, songs without words in a secret language I used to speak 27 years ago. What a beautiful voice you have. Your tiny hands have also grown strong over these months. You look at the world with a quiet contemplation, and then, when you're ready, you reach out fearlessly with curiosity and wonder. And when you grab ahold of something you like, well- oh my- is your grip tireless! And then there's the eyes: your Mama's eyes (& your Grandpa's & your Great Grandpa's before him, & so on & so on). Those bright crystal blue eyes capture the attention of every soul in the room. I know that when you are older, those shining eyes will demand the respect of everyone in the room, too. You are slowly discovering what you like, my love, and what you dislike as well. And you show us, with every cell in your body, which is which. And with all of your strength and stamina, you carry with you an equal fragility. Your facial expressions, so delicate and doll like, cannot be coaxed. You, with all of your six months, maintain a quite serious demeanor most of the time. And then, when I least expect it, you turn to me, look me in the eyes, and curl your lips into a cheeky cheshire smile. That is when my heart feels heavy. Not with sorrow, but heavy with life. I can feel our connection to one another, I can feel your innocence and your joy. When your perfect little head (which you held up from the day you were born) rests against my shoulder, I feel complete. When that feeling comes over me, I carry you to the living room, put on an old song, and dance with you. You are too small to ever remember these dances, but we have had many. Sometimes, in that moment when your smile turns to a grin, I can see, for a split second, the face of the little girl you will one day be. Sometimes, also, I can see the faces of both of your late Grandmothers there too, layered delicately within your beauty. Always, I can see the face of your Papa. You certainly got a lot of him in you. I am so proud of you, my daughter. You have been alive for six months, my little warrior, my little doll. And I love you.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Biet took her first flight on a jet plane! We three dropped Nico with our dog sitter and headed out on our first family vacation to... California! It turns out that our little baby girl is quite a spectacular traveler. She slept through most of the flight, and ate through the rest. By the time we arrived to the west coast, she was smiling and drooling and full to the brim. Gaby and I, on the other hand, were a bit exhausted (its tough to rest on the plane when you're holding a sleeping baby). The California sunshine perked us right up though. And who was there to pick us up at the airport? Auntie Lala and Grandpa! Biet finally got to meet her Grandfather (he'd been waiting to kiss her chubby face for five months!). I think she approves.