All is Calm, All is Bright

To be frank, a big part of me dreaded this Christmas- my dad was so completely plugged into this holiday. First, tradition for as long as I can remember had us with him on Christmas Eve at a big family party where we'd exchange our gifts and eat too much and stay up too late. And then, since my Dad was never one to say no to fun whenever and wherever he could find it, he'd crash Mom's on Christmas Day, pulling up in his rusty truck with a wreath lashed to the bumper. It always amused all of us, my mom in particular, how it never even crossed his mind that his ex wife of more than 20 years would mind him turning up during the cake/coffee party of the evening. And the magic of it was we'd all end up having an awesome time, playing board games and laughing more than should be legally allowed.

And on top of the Christmas-specific memories associated with my Dad, New York in general seems haunted with him. When I was in LA, it was not abnormal to not see him- he didn't live in California. But now that I'm home, every tree and street corner and store front is fraught and festooned with my Dad- here's where he used to get his bagels, here's where he got into a fight over a parking space with some lady, here's where he took me to learn how to drive and on and on and on. So reality has been creeping in. And Christmas seemed like just one more giant reminder that he's not here.

But then there's this lovely symmetry. As my Dad leaves us, Gwen enters. And somehow, seeing all her firsts takes some of the sting out of the things that were his last. Whenever I found myself foundering these past few days, I was able to find an anchor in that little elfin face with its chubby cheeks and oddly wise smile.

And so Christmas somehow managed to be Christmas, and I was able, after all, to count my blessings and look to the new year with anticipation and hope.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Thanks for being you.

Meeting the Big Red Dude:

Many generations of children have posed on these steps!

With Uncle Joe:


Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care...

At the risk of jinxing it, a miracle has happened. And that miracle is my baby has decided for the first time in about 3 months to sleep for more than 2 hours, consecutively. Seriously, folks, at one point this kid woke up every hour on the hour ALL. NIGHT. LONG. I don't know if you've ever been truly sleep deprived, my friends, but add to it the grieving process, and woah Nellie, that's some crappy headspace.

Most of her sleep issues began at about 3 1/2 months, when, not coincidentally, we were in New York while my dad was sick, and bouncing from house to house. So no duh, kids are sensitive creatures and all that drama and change manifested in a need for her to be comforted by me 10 times a night. I didn't begrudge her that- but I needed/need sleep to like, function. So yeah, this is a good- no, AMAZING- development that is the culmination of a lot of work on Gav's and my part, as well as being finally settled in one place.

Last night, I slept six straight hours. It was so uncannily wonderful I literally woke with a SMILE on my face for the 4:30 feeding.

Also, I love our little Brooklyn house. Love it love it love it. It's a temporary thing (my family will sell it eventually) but while it's mine I love every quirky nook and cranny. I even love the HIDEOUS gray and pink tiled bathroom with the fucia and green metallic wallpaper. (Seriously, I must post a pic this week for you.) I put up Christmas lights outside and a big tree and hung all our photos and it really feels like home after living out of a suitcase for 3 months.

This will be a hard holiday season for me- there's no getting past that fact. But with a little sleep under my belt, and this small oasis of normalcy we are living in, I know my little family will find some joy in it as well.


A day in the life...

I have oodles to tell you of my own life, the move, etc. But I'd rather post a crapload of cute pictures since my energy is little to non-existent. So:

If Gwendy appeared in Vogue with one of those artsy "day in the life" photos shoots, it'd go something like this:

We have reached the necessary milestones to begin introducing solid foods. Here we are with organic sweet potatoes from the fine people at Gerber:

When we are thru dining, we find it most relaxing to soak in a nice hot bubble bath. Aunt Joy's kitchen sink is de rigeur for the ultimate in pampered luxury:

Our evenings are spend musing under the Christmas tree, deciding what we will ask Santa for. Will it be the Fisher Price crib Aquarium? A doll? A wad of wrapping paper to stuff in our mouth?? Who knows?
Ladies, if your velvet Christmas bonnet doesn't fit over your own ample noggin, don't fret- just outfit your dog. Lovely, non?
Finally, we simply bask in the glow of our own loveliness. Make sure you take time to bask in your own loveliness too!