Sunday, December 27

Christmas is over

and Christopher and I are happily back in Brooklyn. The older we get the less we seem to like leaving home.

This holiday was no exception. On Thursday, after wading through the last minute shoppers in midtown and waiting an hour for a bus that never came, I erupted into tears when I realized the reserved tickets I'd bought were for us to go from Philadelphia to New York, not the other way around. 4 hours and a train ride later we had arrived and met the newest additions to the Brown household.
They made it all worth it. 12 weeks old and so happy to curl up on your lap, or shoulder or baby bump!! Dinah would be so mad if we brought them back here, but it sure was tempting...


I'm now 33 weeks into this pregnancy. The baby will be considered term in 3 weeks, though he won't be expected for another 4 weeks after that, and he could happily take his time and make us wait until late February to make his appearance. That's a 6 week window. Crazy.

In any case, we have 3 weeks to try to get everything as ready as we can, and it will be a lot of work to get from here to there. We need a bureau. We need a crib (or a baby hammock, which is what we hope to use). We need to move around a lot of furniture, and we need to bring a lot of things we've been given - both new and used - here from Philadelphia. Never mind the piles of books to get through, on breastfeeding and baby care. Yes, I know, it all works out in the end, and we probably won't remember the details of those books anyway. But still, there's a lot to learn before Smudge arrives.


Sunday, December 20

on being pregnant

At the prenatal yoga class that I sometimes go to there is a part of the class where we go around and say something about our pregnancies. It is suggested that we say when we are due, where we are delivering, and if we have any complaints or observations. Yesterday in class my observation was that suddenly I feel very conscious of there being a little person inside me, something I think I've been feeling for a few weeks now.This might seem like a silly observation, but it's pretty hard to wrap one's head around the fact that there is a baby (a little person!) growing in there, someone who will come out and cry and nurse and grow and become an adult some day. Which is funny, because it happens all the time and everyone you meet was once inside their mother. But it's still pretty hard to comprehend.

After class I chatted with a woman from my birthing class who also happened to be there. We stared at a group of parents and babies in the yoga studio lobby (a reunion of a birthing class that had met there months earlier) and tried to understand that in about 5 months we would also be holding babies that age, and eating snacks at our own birth class reunion. My classmate admitted that she still couldn't match the baby that was coming with the movements in her belly, that the whole thing was still really abstract to her.

It feels fairly presumptuous to say that I know Smudge, but I am very aware of his general position in my belly, and can more or less feel and see his foot when he sticks it into my right side. He's been in this position - head down, butt on one side of my belly button and feet on the other - for about a month. I'm hoping that he stays that way for the next 8 or so weeks until be comes, even though his foot is rather uncomfortable. I find myself massaging it, gently willing him to pull it back in so I'm more comfortable, and he complies. Christopher likes to joke that Smudge isn't even born yet and we already don't get along. And I am just so in awe that there is a foot (two, hopefully, plus some legs and the rest of a baby) inside me.

Now that Christopher has finished his semester, we feel that Smudge's arrival is imminent. He's not due for another 8 weeks, but we have been warned to be ready for him in 4 weeks. And that's really soon. We still don't have much for him - just clothes, a stroller, a breast pump, a ton of blankets and quilts. At least he'll be fed and warm if he gets here early! In any case, the next few weeks will be about gathering what we still need, and making the apartment ready for a baby. I'm impatient to start, but also anxious about the transition we're about to make. There's no turning back!

Saturday, December 12

Santacon in the 'hood

So, NYC has this annual Santa pub crawl called Santacon. It's been going on for years, and it's pretty unforgettable if you bump into the Santas on their crawl (imagine getting onto a subway car full of people in Santa outfits). I can only imagine what children think when they see the (often drunk) Santas bumming around town and being rowdy, but as an adult I think it's pretty funny.

This morning at about 11:30, I heard some loud caroling from the street and peered out the window. This is what I saw:I grabbed my camera and went down to the sidewalk. There were Santas everywhere. All genders, all shapes and sizes, in any variation of a Santa outfit imaginable, all walking towards the Brooklyn Museum steps. Some of them were handing out candy canes or presents to children. I asked two of them where they were going, and was told, "I have no idea!!!"

Two overwhelmed little girls were standing with their father on the steps next to me and got all sorts of goodies from the Santas. Their father was a little nervous about letting them open the presents they'd been handed, however. At one point a group of Santas asked the girls if they wanted "a picture with Santa," and then had me take a group photo of the two timid girls with about 5 Santas. (out of respect for the children's privacy, I'm not publishing the photo here.) It was like Halloween in reverse. (Maybe I'd like Christmas more if it were more like Halloween??)Do you think that guy on the left is an angel, or a character from Star Wars?