Friday, March 25, 2011


Today was my 35th birthday. 35 is so solidly... 30-something. I don't feel old, but I certainly don't feel young either - although that may be a product of the consistent sleep deprivation associated with children, and not at all related to age!

It was a lovely birthday, against all odds. Steve, Liesl, and I all have nasty colds, probably brought home from daycare by our resident Typhoid Sebastian. But Steve let me go back to sleep after I woke up to feed Liesl at 5, made french toast for breakfast, and collaborated with Sebastian on a terrific art piece (see below). Liesl contributed to the drawing by scrunching and crumpling a corner, and drooling on it. :) I got a sweet silver bracelet, with Sebastian and Liesl's names engraved on it, two bouquets of flowers, and some delicious chocolate cupcakes. Steve worked from home so that we could go out to lunch together - we tried a Japanese place called Fujinoya in Hartsdale, which was very good. My brother called and sang to me, my parents skype-called and sang to me in unison, if not harmony, and my boys sang to me after dinner. All in all, a terrific day.

Of course, the biggest difference between being a child and having a birthday, and being an adult and having a birthday, is that all of your usual responsibilities still have to be done. Meals need to be cooked, dishes still need to be washed, laundry still has to be done and put away, babies still need to be fed and get diaper changes, baths have to be given, etc. But everyone was cheery today, and I feel so very blessed. To be 35, happy and healthy, with a lovely, sweet husband, two wonderful children, a good job with great colleagues, and a loving, supportive extended family - life doesn't get any better.

The left flower bouquet is yellow irises and narcissus; the right is purple sweetpeas, white freesia, and two other purple flowers whose names I've forgotten. They're perfect - they smell deliciously like springtime.

(Sebastian took this picture of the two of us - we had to prop the camera on a chair so that it would stay steady enough - he was very proud to be entrusted with the real camera.)

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Sebastian yesterday, gazing upon his daycare's class picture:
"Anaiyah is very pretty. Almost like a dinosaur."

Monday, March 21, 2011

more photos

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Empire State Building!

In a fit of enthusiasm and bravery, we headed into the city today to visit the Empire State Building. We have had a run of books lately about visiting New York City - walking around, seeing the sights, naming the landmarks. The ESB is of course prominently featured in all of them. So we figured we should visit while Seb's fascination is fresh and before the summer tourist season begins.

We got lucky - there were no lines, and it was a clear enough day to see a long way. Our pictures are not great - it's not a great photo venue - but it was a lot of fun. Seb was scared of the height but did enjoy seeing all of the water and bridges surrounding us. Liesl was not a fan of the wind, but she made a lot of friends among the workers and fellow tourists, with her wide-eyed stares and smiles. She's a charmer.

I haven't been up to the top of the Empire State Building since my cousin Jeff came to visit years ago, shortly after I had moved to the city (1998/9). It was really fun to be back.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

photos of the week

This was a whole-family effort. We were very pleased with it - you could reverse direction, and multiple trains could run on it at once.

Reading The Very Busy Spider to Sebastian and Liesl.

Our fisherman, and a wrapped-up bundle of girl, at Rockefeller Park.

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tough week

We had a really tough week here. Liesl was sick all week, throwing up at least once per day. She was also not sleeping well, for obvious reasons, and so I was very tired as well as anxious. Sebastian, for his part, didn't get quite enough sleep for a few successive nights and naps, and was cranky and petulant as a result. We were not good company, and I was very abrupt with him when not losing my temper entirely. Sigh. On Friday, Seb's bad week culminated with him biting his best friend Nathan at daycare, something he's never done before. I was surprised and mortified. We had a long talk about it on the way home and I hope he doesn't repeat it.

Happily, Liesl seemed much better yesterday and today, and the whole family managed to get naps today. It was a lovely spring-like day and we went outdoors to enjoy it. I played Ultimate Frisbee this morning, for the first time in a year. I have not forgotten how to throw, and I dove to catch discs as usual, but I was seriously exhausted after about 20 minutes of running. But it was glorious to be back in the game. We also went for a late day walk at Stone Barns farm, and Sebastian was as always thrilled to see the chickens, sheep, pigs, and cows. All of the usual trickly streams are full-blown spring gushers at the moment, and he loved pretending to fish in them with a long stick.

Pics to come -

Saturday, March 5, 2011

sick baby

Liesl woke up at 6, gave a dry hack that sounded like she had a hairball, and then vomited everywhere. The day continued downhill from there - she threw up at least a dozen times today. There's nothing sadder than a sick baby, who doesn't understand why such things are happening to her. She kept smiling at us in between episodes, which was just heart-breaking.

We went to the doctor, who said it seemed like just a stomach virus. It most likely came home from daycare with Sebastian, starring in the role of Typhoid Mary. Our boy is never sick - only the mildest and briefest of colds, and even those pretty rarely - which is amazing for a daycare kid.

So it was a long, yucky day, with many loads of laundry and a lot of floor-scrubbing. She fell asleep early and I'm hoping she'll be better tomorrow. Our poor girl.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Four-month doctor visit

Liesl visited Dr. Jane today for her four-month checkup. She weighs 13 lbs 6 oz, and is 24 1/2 inches tall - 50th percentile for both. Everything looks great so far.

Sebastian was bigger at this age: 14 lbs 11 oz and 26 inches tall, which isn't surprising, given how much he loved his food. I remember laughing at all the books that noted that babies can only see a certain number of inches - just the distance from your breast to your face. Sebastian never ever interrupted anything as important as a meal to gaze up at me lovingly. Liesl, on the other hand, will certainly stop nursing to grin at me, or to check out her brother's noise, or just on a whim.

Sebastian continues to love his food, and eat large quantities of it. He had always spit out and refused to eat carrots, until I had the bright idea of telling him that they would make his eyes super-strong. I think I promised that he'd be able to see New York City from our apartment if he ate enough carrots. And lo, they have become his favorite vegetable. He has requested them a few nights this week. Of course, he also asked if he'd soon be able to see all the way to California, so I'm about to be unmasked as a fraudulent huckster...