A Big Month

Tomorrow starts October. A month where my partner turns 40 and has his last month of parental leave, MG starts daycare, and its Halloween and Diwali, back to back. It’s making me feel very pre-nostalgic. Fall is a very fresh start, back-to-school sense for me, but it increasingly makes me think of growing old and dying. Or, just dying. Who knows when? I often wear an extremely comfortable, enormous t-shirt to bed that says “this body will be a corpse.” It’s morbid but true (and no, I did not buy this shirt — it was given to me from a meditation center that was closing). I feel like MG is so fun and so much of a kid right now — like has clear thoughts and preferences, and you can actually communicate with her. At the same time, she’s such a cuddly, squishy, loving and loveable baby. I wish I could sort of pause this era of my life. I would not have said this even a month or two ago, but it makes me look forward to having another baby.

Often I try to commit to monthly goals, but this month, I want to just try embracing the messiness lovingly and mindfully. So I commit to loving presence and daily meditation practice, and lots of grace for myself and for others.

 

 

 

A Weekend in NYC – II

How funny. We are spending the weekend in NYC and I thought, I should write a blog to reflect on what would make a nice weekend. And that is 100% the topic of my last blog entry.

Friday — we have started a new tradition of having a post-bedtime Friday night date. We get takeout, set the table and light candles, and sometimes watch a show. We have been talking about watching the Americans and got someone to give us their Amazon pw so we could do so. So cozy evening in to be immediately preceded by bring MG by a local friend’s house for her game night.

Sat – I will go to the gym and deadlift 120 pounds. Slowly inching back towards normal weight. My front squat will be 75. The nice thing about lifting limited weight is that I’m in and out of the gym in 30 mins. Then I get to eat whatever I want the rest of the day. Hopefully, we’ll also take a walk and see some friends. Oh, and choose a nice recipe to cook for lunches this week.

Sunday – hopefully seeing some friends or maybe getting out of town?

Elements that would make for a good weekend:

  • – de cluttering
  • – cooking a new recipe
  • – watching the Americans
  • – completing my lifting workout and going to yoga
  • some time alone in a coffee shop

A Weekend in NYC

We have not been spending many weekends in NYC recently. Often with the grandparents, and coming and going from CT. This was my first week of full-time work since February and there’s about to be a big rainstorm. I feel like in the “old days”, we would have a weekend full of plans for working out, eating out, lounging, running errands, etc. But it’s strange now having a weekend with the baby, especially in city. We go for a lot of walks, but MG is still young enough that there’s not too much you can do with her, especially if the weather is bad.

I signed up for a personal retreat weekend. The sort of deal where you can do whatever you want in your room or on the grounds, but all your meals are prepared and you don’t have access to technology. But the idea of it makes me feel sort of lonely. What I really want is time with R…but then, I miss MG when it is just the two of us!

There’s an interesting tension in my time now, always wanting what I don’t have and often wanting to be where I’m not.

So what would make it a good weekend? I’ll say…

  • seeing friends
  • working out
  • having a hot shower
  • making a meal
  • playing with MG
  • reading
  • watching a TV show?!

Seems fairly doable.

 

Daily Habits

A while ago, I was really into my daily habit tracker. I had five daily habits: 10k steps, no sugar, time with R, meditation, and stretching. Since then, a lot has happened. I became pregnant, had a baby, came back to work, etc. I’ve been thinking about what my new habits should be. My short-list so far is:

  • Food journaling. I am very not into diets or anything insane, but have 10 pounds of “baby weight” left to lose and thought writing down all the food I eat might help with some internal accountability.
  • Intermittent fasting. Linked to the above, I’ve been trying to eat in a window of 10 hours and fast for the other 14 (which isn’t as bad as it sounds because I’m typically asleep for 8 of them).
  • Deep work. Now that I’m back at work, I would like to become a super productive beast.
  • Daily workout and nightly stretching.
  • Meditation. As usual.

And, I would love to put something on their like nourishment, but I’m not sure exactly what would fit. Left to my own devices, I become very routine-oriented (which is good in many ways), but can lose opportunities to have fun.

Rituals

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about rituals. In November, MG will start daycare and R and I will go back to the office full-time. So, even though she won’t remember them long-term, it seems like a good opportunity to start with some family rituals.

You can have daily rituals like…

  • a few, on-rotation afterschool snacks
  • saying what you are grateful for at the dinner table
  • taking a shower and changing into pajamas after school (instead of before bed). We did this a lot when I was a kid and it was soooo cozy.

Or monthly rituals like:

  • cake for breakfast on the first day of every month

Or yearly rituals like:

  • a birthday experience (instead of presents)
  • pumpkin carving
  • opening one Christmas present on Christmas eve

Or seasonal rituals like:

  • late night summer grocery store runs;
  • going to the library on a rainy day and then spending the day snuggled up at home
  • watching Moonstruck between Christmas and New Year’s

 

A drive for perfection

I have found myself being very consumerist recently. Just spending tons of time browsing through clothes, toys, etc. Like, if I buy the perfect thing, my life will become perfect. R and I don’t spend a lot of money by choice because we both would rather save our money so we have more flexibility later on in life with how we want to spend our time. But coming back to work and with MG becoming more interested in the world, I have this quiet anxiety that is telling me to be more perfect. I have probably spent hours looking at beautiful rainbow blocks, stacking bowls, play silks, etc. At the same time, we work very hard to not give MG too many toys and overwhelm her. So where is this drive coming from? It’s like some perverted thought that if I don’t get the right things, life won’t be good. I think I’m going to pause on online shopping for a while and let myself reconnect more with the natural rhythm of my life.

Newborn Essentials

I remember when I was pregnant, R and I got into an argument with my parents around how we didn’t want to buy that much baby stuff. Their side of the argument, “babies need a lot of stuff!!!!” I still disagree. This is a list of what we found to be the only essential items:

– a place for the baby to sleep. I would highly, highly recommend a baby box. We used the “SnuggleNest.” A box means you can have the baby fall asleep anywhere while still having the baby feel like it’s in a familiar place. Plus, later on you can put the box inside the crib and the adjustment goes super well.

– silicone bottles. We used comotomo brand which I liked a lot because the silicone and the wide mouth meant you don’t need a bottle brush to wash them out.

– diapers. Goes without saying.

– warm clothes. Babies run cold, or at least our baby did. It was not unusual for her to sleep in an inside onesie, a wool sweater vest (handknit by grandma), footed PJs, and a hat.

– blankets to swaddle with. We used regular receiving blankets and didn’t buy swaddlers.

– a baby bathtub. Our kiddo legit cried every time we bathed her, which we did every day! But in a few weeks, she started associating bath time with bed time which is still the case. The one time in her entire life we skipped the bath, she would. not. go. to. sleep.

– a white noise machine, though we used our phones for the first few months.

– burp cloths. Get more than you think you need. Once you are out, time to do laundry!

– a mode of transportation for the baby (wrap, car seat, etc.). This one is highly variable based on your situation. We did a mix of wraps (the ktan), car seat in car (the maxi cosi mico 30…insane name for a car seat if you ask me), and car seat attachment with stroller).

– and for mom: massages, post-partum pies (and really unlimited food), and at least a night bottle of formula administered by someone else so she can get some sleep).