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Saturday, February 26, 2011

no where to go

When I lived in Utah, I had a nice little place I liked to go when life was getting a little too crazy. It was up Provo Canyon at a place called South Fork Park.


There's a stream that runs through the park and I would often sit and listen to the sound of the water running. Even though the problems of life never went away after going up into the mountains, they seemed a little easier to deal with.


I don't live in Utah anymore, but sometimes I miss it. I miss the serenity of the mountains. The day before I left Utah to move to Brooklyn, I strapped a sleeping Blake into his car seat and drove around the town where we had been living for about 9 months. For the first time in my life I actually felt like I was going to miss Utah. Everything was so wide open and beautiful. I guess I never took the time to fully appreciate the beauty that surrounded me until I was leaving.

Now I live here.

And to be honest, I have a hard time finding the beauty in it. Maybe it's the trash that piles up on the sidewalk or the smell of cigarette smoke whenever I go...anywhere, even when we are sitting in the comfort of our own apartment. But worst of all, I have no where to go. I don't feel like I have a place where I can go to get away from it all. Sure, there's the Green-Wood cemetery which has probably been the most serene place I've been in Brooklyn. But the effort it takes to get myself there just doesn't seem worth it. It's no South Fork Park.

Quit complaining, right? I have a roof over my head and clothes on my back. I think it boils down to this: I'm not a city girl, and I'm probably never going to be one.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

things at which Blake likes to clap

I can't end a sentence with the word "at". (I know I just did.)

The cutest skill Blake has learned to date is that of clapping. I didn't really think about Blake learning how to clap until one day I was reading a friend's blog and noticed her 9 month old clapping. And since I noticed Blake hadn't learned how to clap I decided to teach him. But, he wasn't really interested in my clapping lessons, so the clapping lessons were stopped. (I told him he'll regret it when he is older. He'll be sitting in school and everyone will start clapping because there is a surprise ice cream party and he'll just have to sit there wondering how all the other kids are making that noise. They kept up their clapping lessons, Blake.)

Then last week while I was playing with Blake, he crawled away and sat with his back facing me. When I looked over I noticed he was looking at his hands and clapping them together. It was almost as if he didn't want me to see him clapping until he could get it just right. And it was pretty much the cutest thing he's ever done. Now he claps all the time and we get to witness the cuteness whenever we want.

Blake likes to clap at:
Mom
Dad
the computer
Mom drinking from the juice carton
the water pitcher
dropping his food on the floor
after each bite of yogurt
anyone who claps at him
nap time, in his crib (which is probably the cutest because you just hear the light clap of his hands)


video

Love this kid!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mommies need playgroups, too. (if not more than the children)

On Monday when I saw the forecast for this week, I was overjoyed that there was a possibility of 60 degree weather by Friday. I seem to forget during the summer how much I detest the cold. I'm all for the winter wardrobe, just not the frigid temperatures that come with this season. And the snow...oh the snow that is still lingering on sidewalks and street corners from who knows how many weeks ago. I'm ready for warmer weather, and that's exactly what we had today!

Except...Blake is sick. Well, he doesn't act sick in the least. He just sounds horrible. Stuffy nose, terrible cough that is really only present when he's laying down or just waking up from a nap. Oh, and he feels feverish sometimes. Last night he even refused a bottle. I don't think that's ever happened...ever.

I remember thinking on Monday that I wouldn't be surprised if something happened that prevented us from going to playgroup at the park today. And I was right. We probably could have gone and it would have been fine. But this particular park isn't exactly close to our house so if he decided to start acting sick it was going to be a long walk back home. Too bad it seems like the really good parks are no where near where I live. (When I say near, I mean 10 minute walking time. Driving would be no problem.) I've seen the parks that are a 10 minute walk from our place. Kiiiiiiiinda shady lookin' if you ask me.

I almost went to playgroup. But I was really going for me, not Blake. Don't get me wrong, Blake is tired of my face and would love to have seen someone else's mug for a while. I really would have been going to satisfy my need for some grown-up conversation. And while I do believe having Blake interact with other kids is crucial to his social development, I think allowing myself to talk in a regular voice about normal stuff is crucial to my sanity. Oh well. There's always next Friday (which probably will be cold again. Curse you global warming with your crazy seasons!! (I don't really know if it has anything to do with global warming. I just need something to blame.))


We did go outside and take pictures. Well, Blake wasn't really a willing participant. Oh and crazy Willy from across the street decided to creepily wave to us. I haven't talked about crazy Willy only because it's been too cold to sit outside for any amount of time. I'm sure he'll be making an appearance as spring shows up.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Brooklyn birthday

This year my birthday will rank up there with some of the best birthdays I've had. And I've had some good birthdays.

For example, there was the time when I was 4 and went to the circus and they sang happy birthday to me. (I found out later from my mom that it was actually the circus' birthday and that's why they were singing. I still choose to believe it was all for me.) For my 10th birthday I got my tonsils out. My mom knew I was tired of getting strep throat when she asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said I wanted to get my tonsils taken out. For my 11th birthday I had an ice skating party. That's probably the last time I went ice skating and didn't walk away feeling like my ankles were broken. For my 16th birthday I had a hot tub party/sleepover. That was fun because I invited all girls and we pigged out on pizza and cake because there weren't any guys to impress. (I didn't really know any guys who I wanted to invite or who would have come. I don't miss high school.) Then when I turned 21 my roommates threw a surprise party for me and we all had a blast dancing around our living room. And there may have been the occasional awkward slow dance with a guy that you were friends with but he was making it uncomfortably obvious that he wanted to be more than friends (shudder).

And now I'm here, my 26th birthday. 26 sounds old, but I certainly don't feel old. At all.

My day o' birth started out with Blake sleeping through the night until 9am! He usually wakes up around 7, but this morning he must have remembered that I whispered in his ear last night that it was my birthday and that mommy would really like at least 8 hours of sleep. Check!

Then the doorbell rang with birthday package #1. I, not being appropriately dressed, let my neighbor get the package and he kindly left it outside my door. Thank you appropriately dressed neighbor. I opened the package to find that my dear mother sent me my favorite cake from a local grocery store in Virginia.
 2 seconds after I took this picture, Blake grabbed the bow and almost threw the cake off his tray. 
That was a close one. I still would have eaten the cake.

Then I did my workout (these legs and back aren't going to work themselves out no matter how many times I say, "But it's my birrrrrrrrrrrrrthdaaaayyyyyyyyy!") and got ready for my lunch date! Of course the doorbell rang with birthday package #2 right around the time I wasn't appropriately dressed for the second time this morning. So I let my other neighbor take the package. Thank you other appropriately dressed neighbor.

I dropped Blake off with our neighbor who has a baby his age and was off to Manhattan. Doesn't that sound so glamorous? It sounds glamorous, until the smell of urine hits your nose as you descend the subway stairs. Ok, that made it sound disgusting. So it's in between glamorous and disgusting. I met Evan at Penelope's and had a fantastic date, sans baby. This is the first time we've been on a date since we moved to Brooklyn. It was nice to eat lunch sitting down and not having to clean food off the floor that your baby has decided to take out of his mouth and throw.
The Whitney I see in pictures is not the Whitney I see in the mirror. Why is that?
 
I thought it would be fun to walk around Manhattan, but since I was going to be doing it by myself, it was freezing outside, and I had just enough time to make it home to pick up Blake, I decided to head home. But not without a picture of Evan in front of his office building. I could tell he didn't want me to take a picture of him. So I made sure to start yelling instructions on how he should pose nice and loud so everyone could hear.
Super sunny does not equal super warm.
 
I made it home, but not without one person singing Stand By Me on the subway and a homeless person asking everyone for money. I didn't give either one any money. I probably should have at least given the homeless person some money.

I still have 7 hours of birthday left and I plan to eat cake until I can't eat it no mo'! And apparently there are more presents...for me...to open...tonight. Happy birthday to me!
My hair...looks scary when I wake up in the morning.

Friday, February 4, 2011

woe is me

I always heard a lot of things about motherhood before I was actually a mother:

-It's the hardest thing you'll ever do.

-It's the most rewarding thing you'll ever do.

-It's exhausting. It's whatever 1 million times exhausting is.

-You don't know what love is until you hold your baby for the first time.

-Your life will change in ways you never imagined.

And on, and on, and on. But, I don't think in all the descriptions of motherhood I have heard over the years anyone ever told me that it was a lonely job. And honestly, I don't think I would have believed someone if they told me it was. It doesn't really make sense. How can you be with another human 24/7 and be lonely? See, that doesn't make sense.

Maybe it's the winter, maybe it's living in a new place (I know, I've been here 7 months-ish, so it's not soooo new.), maybe it's just me and no other mothers out there are lonely. I don't know but frankly I'm tired of it. Not motherhood. Just the loneliness that's associated with it.

Ya, ya, I know, life could be a lot more difficult for me. I'm grateful for the things I do have. I just don't know how to not feel lonely sometimes.

Actually, I do. Service. It's usually the answer to most of my "woe is me" problems.

So, service it is.