Calling California Home.

As we were landing into John Wayne airport, I was blabbering like a little brat about how much I didn’t want to be there. The sight of Orange County made me mad; I wanted to be flying back to New York, to the place I had longed to call home for so long. Almost two weeks have passed since that moment and I am no longer mad at Orange County, rather I have been made aware at how pale New York has made me. The sun lives in Orange County year around, it’s incredible. Harlow Jude has been able to play outside every single day (she doesn’t like the grass on her legs as you’ll see below), I’ve finally weaned from believing she needs to be layered, and I’ve been with at least one of my sisters everyday.

I promise I will slowly stop longing and writing about my desire to be in New York over time, and your interest in this blog will grow stronger as the negativity is lifted.

I cut her mullet off and she looks adorable, her first haircut!

20140320-180521.jpg

20140320-180549.jpg

20140320-180541.jpg

20140320-180647.jpg

20140320-180704.jpg


Meet and Greet.

Visiting with Sara’s parents.

20140321-082521.jpg
Squishy nose with Great Grandma Julie.

20140321-082613.jpg
Great Grandpa Rich entertained Harlow Jude swimmingly.

20140321-082628.jpg
Enjoying rocking time with Grandma.

20140321-082659.jpg
There was snow all over but the weather was warm, it was nice to be out in it.

20140321-082713.jpg
Harlow Jude finally met Uncle Andy and Aunt Krista. Andy was definitely getting his training in for his soon to be father title. I’m so glad we saw them, and able to see Krista looking beautiful pregnant.

20140321-082732.jpg
Harlow Jude always checks out Uncle Luke, it’s really funny, maybe because he looks similar to Jacob. It’s very sweet, Luke is walking with her.

20140321-082745.jpg


In Limbo.

The past couple of weeks have been interesting. We left New York (I am still wiping away the tears), traveled to Wisconsin for one week (we went sledding), was delayed in Dallas (Harlow Jude got sick) and finally landed in Orange County (we left behind our winter coats)! We have been living out of suitcases (six of them if you really want to know how I’ve overpacked) and will continue to do so for another two weeks. We have slept in five different beds, with another two in the near future. Harlow Jude has met more people and played with more toys in these last two weeks than she has in her entire ten months. Seeing Harlow Jude with both of our families has been really special and evident that what we are doing is the right thing for her. It’s one thing to think it, it’s a completely other thing to see it in front of you.

Wisconsin was wonderful. Peter and Sara are such incredible grandparents; I feel lucky that Harlow Jude has them. They took us sledding, bought Harlow Jude toys, cooked us every meal and just loved her. Wisconsin was very relaxing, cold and far too short.

20140320-172841.jpg

20140320-172936.jpg

20140320-172949.jpg

20140320-173024.jpg

20140320-173016.jpg

20140320-173046.jpg

20140320-173306.jpg

20140320-173638.jpg


Hibernating In.

While New York has been looking beautiful in a blanket of snow, we have been hibernating away inside for up to six days at a time. I’m pretty sure that I’m more anxious than Harlow Jude about getting outside, but keeping her entertained these days is much more difficult. With Harlow Jude being the crawling machine that she is, I can’t turn my back for a second without her scooting up the stairs and into something mischievous. Jacob taught her how to scoot down the steps, a quick learner this one.

IMG_6498

IMG_6506

IMG_6512

IMG_6501

We haven’t had many nice days, but this was a wonderfully sunny 50 degree day where no giant stroller, blanket and cover were needed. It was such a treat to not have to take the elevator everywhere we went.

IMG_6622

We went to dinner one night and it was so cold that even in the restaurant we needed to stay bundled. Also while in this restaurant, a couple asked to move tables because I was breastfeeding, ah New York.

IMG_6516

A farewell lunch with my friend Gur, whom I’ve known since L.A. for almost 10 years now. I really only show you this picture because Harlow Jude has been making this squinty disgusted face for awhile now, and it’s just so funny. I’m glad I finally captured it.

IMG_6534

This is old, from the Empire State Building with grandpa & grandma, but I thought it was so sweet I want to share it.

IMG_1450


Packing Up.

Our big move has taken over my life. Problems with our apartment have arisen, packing is a menace, and I have this nagging feeling that I am forgetting something huge. While we have had our last pediatrician appointments and dental visits, have dates set for our last good-byes with friends, and an apartment ready to be shipped across the country for the second time in our marriage, that feeling of uneasiness lingers. Secretly it is probably that I have so much to do for us in regard to San Francisco that I feel unfinished here in New York, or maybe it is simply that I feel my time here is unfinished. I have dreamed about living in New York my entire life (ask my grandma about the 7am phone calls serenading Sinatra’s, “New York, New York” to her from the ripe age of 6), and when we moved here with a job at DVF in one pocket and a new marriage in the other, life seemed to be unfolding down a very glamorous path. Alas, our life has taken a different path, one of which ended up with poop all over my jeans today on the 1 train. A very different path indeed.

Harlow Jude is now nine-months-old, 18 pounds 6 ounces and 29 inches tall and a really good helper with packing.

IMG_1468

IMG_6359

I made mazes throughout the house with boxes, Harlow Jude loved crawling through them all.

IMG_6494

IMG_6488

IMG_6473

IMG_6472

Some hats we found while packing up.

IMG_6369

IMG_6364


The Judgement Game.

I had always considered parenthood a job; one that you could fail at miserably, succeed at brilliantly, or fall somewhere in between. In a high school English class, I was asked to invent a law and explain how I would implement it. My law was that all soon-to-be-parents had to take a class on parenting, a law which obviously would be difficult to mandate, although I still believe necessary. Even before this assignment, even before high school, I knew that parenting was the most important influence in a child’s life, negative or positive. What I didn’t expect parenting to be, was a competition, one that I most definitely did not sign up for. There is an abundance of parenting techniques, books, theories, websites, blogs, et al, all dedicated to an idea of parenting, and the many that will tell you how your way is wrong. None of these however, compare to that of other moms raising their children right beside you. I cannot help but wonder why we haven’t grown passed the “mean girl” mentality when aren’t we, especially as parents, supposed to be setting a standard to accept everyone.

When one becomes a parent, an incredible phenomenon occurs at the same time, every single person believes they have the right to tell you how to be a parent. A thick skin must be built up, and may I suggest building that thick skin long before the baby arrives. This is not a woe is me, but more of a love letter to the parents believing that parenthood is meant to be a competition. Or maybe, proof that my skin is still far too thin.

I have been hesitant to share aspects of how I parent on this blog or to even update on how Harlow Jude is progressing (which says a lot because I don’t hide much about myself) because I know so many people compare their parenting to others. I have defended myself to other parents comparing their babies progress, just to make them feel better, which is so silly because I’m not judging. Harlow Jude is incredible. She has been sitting since she was four months old, rolling at five months, crawling at six months, standing by herself at seven months and now as eight months comes to an end she is almost walking, taking steps two at a time by herself. She waves hi, she turns the lights off and says “mama”. I don’t work because I knew that if I ever had a child, being their parent would take precedent. A little bit of my high school self exists, knowing that I am the number one influence on Harlow Jude’s life. I spend all day teaching her and engaging with her. I speak French with her, I use sign language with her, while I read I try to sign along. We listen to French lullabies and every once in awhile I speak Spanish, of what I know. Harlow Jude sleeps with us and I breast feed her far too often and will most likely continue into her toddler years. As much as we do not want her to be spoiled (she’s an only child, I’m sure she’ll be a little spoiled), she will absolutely be loved. We will coddle her a bit too much, we will always ensure she is safe, and one of us will be home for her until she goes off to school.

I don’t do any of this to compete; I don’t even discuss it now for competition sake. I simply bring it up because I haven’t. Harlow Jude has taken over my heart in a way I never knew existed, and this blog allows me to talk about her so I don’t have to bore you when I actually see you. I have found myself being censored here and this should be the last place I am. My day to day interactions in New York City with Harlow Jude are hard, sometimes laughable, sometimes really mean. Maybe I’m just coming off a hard day of too many judgements, but please don’t judge my parenting or compare your child’s progress to mine. You and I will not be perfect parents, it doesn’t exist; now, I’m glad we’ve taken that unrealistic goal off the table.


Countdown.

We’re six weeks away from moving out of New York, and I feel as though the countdown has truly begun. I have made a list of must-do things before we leave (eat pizza at Roberta’s, walk the Highline again, visit the Gaultier exhibit . . . ), a list of have-to things before we leave (return our cable modem) and a list of things to sell before we leave (anyone interested in an iMac 27″ computer?). I have made our final doctor’s appointments, arrangements for our apartment to be shipped and stored, our utilities to be turned off, and of course booked our airfare. We leave New York on March 5th for Wisconsin and then to Orange County on the 12th where we will remain until March 31st.

April 1st will officially be the first day of us settling into a new city and a new chapter of our lives (so cheesy, right?). Jacob has been waiting for me to want to settle down somewhere (perhaps it’s a childhood of going week to week and month to month between parent’s houses that left me with the feeling that I need to be able to pick up and leave at a moment’s notice or that never being settled is the only thing I have known, but I digress), I am ready, officially and honestly. Jacob moved to Los Angeles to be with me, and then he hopped in our car and drove across the country to New York to be with me again. I told him it was his turn to pick any city and I would follow him, it was his well deserved turn. And so, San Francisco here we come! Not only is this Jacob’s turn to pick a city, this has become the city of choice for us to settle down in. We are saving to buy a house, scoping out the schools for Harlow Jude and searching for a church to call home. We are very excited.

While I am busily packing up our apartment in this 8 degree weather, not many outings will be taking place. And so, I leave you with a few adorable pictures of Harlow Jude in the meantime.

Suitably dressed for our cold weather, taking refuge in a coffee shop.

IMG_6062

My friend Anna came to visit from Chicago. Harlow Jude has been going through a bit of stranger anxiety, but I was able to capture a few photos of her without looking upset.

IMG_6293

We were all dressed up with nowhere to go. My girlfriend had come down with a horrible ear infection, and so we stayed dressed up inside for the day.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Oh just goofing with drumsticks in our mouths.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

Rocked to sleep.

IMG_6023

On our way for a jog.

IMG_5887

I mean, model right?

image


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 79 other followers