Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rockabye, Baby

For those wondering how the sleeping is going:

Sleep is only short as I find it near impossible to stop staring at her. But every once in a while Sam convinces me it's necessary. This has become a nightly ritual, the "couch collapse."

Sam refers to this as her "jesus pose."

Her favorite place to sit. She's so very small!

I mean, seriously - could you sleep if you had this to stare at?

Sam has the magic touch. She inevitably ends up dreaming after a good dancin' with her daddy.

My family.
And the two things I love absolutely most in this world.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Proud Mama

(Samaire showing off her guns. Her Dad was very proud.)


This past week was an adventure to say the least. I've never been more tired, worked harder - or felt more sheer happiness.

When we look through the pictures we can already see you have changed since we took you home. It already feels like it's moving too fast. I find myself caught between hoping time slows down forever and looking unbelievably forward to what the next months, and even years, ahead of us.

We checked the list of milestones for babies the first month the hospital gave us and you've hot all of them already. We believe this is just evidence of what we already know - you are the smartest, coolest, best, most beautiful baby ever.

People say you won't start smiling for another couple weeks, but your Daddy and I know better about that, too. Just this morning you smiled what we believe was a real genuine happy-smile. Right now, your Daddy is rocking you and singing to you and you look absolutely in love. Of course you are, he's the best Daddy ever. I can tell you think so too. This week he's been so good to both of us. Cooking and cleaning and changing diapers and basically taking care of everything including you and me. Sometimes I panic a little when I think of him going back to work. I know you and I will figure it all out, but he's definitely spoiling us.

Sometimes I wish the three of us could just hunker down together like this forever. Your Dad and I, we've traveled the world - seen some really cool things. But out of all the time we've ever taken - this past week - in all it's frustrations and sleep-deprivation and general craziness - is by far the best time we've ever had.

These past seven days in our little 300 square foot apartment, walking through our little neighborhood - has been more lovely than any Buddhist temple, Hawaiian sunset or Parisian dawn.

But don't worry, we're already planning your first trips to see the world we so love. But right now, I'm just trying to enjoy you and this new life of our little family's one week at a time.

One beautiful, wonderful, fabulous week at a time.

Love, your mama

(I'm so proud of you!)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy week birthday!

7 days old and loving it! Samaire had her second doctor's apt. today and it went well. She's 7 lbs 11 ozs, and the doc's hoping she gains more this next week. She also has a small eye issue, think it's a tear duct clog. So we got some ointment to put in her eye. It's been a long day for her, but she's doing great. She took her first walk in her stroller today and LOVED it. She's for sure an outside girl.

Happy birthweek love!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pics... Round 2 (the cavity sessions)

Ok, Sam, back with more pics. These are so sweet and cute that if you haven't seen a dentist in the last six months you might want to avert your eyes. As always, enjoy!

Our New York City girl heads to her first doc apt. (All went well)

Maire meets Mr. Met.

The great ninja baby practices her Kung-Fu kicks.

She's dead Jim!

Her favorite place to crash... on Momma.

It's a hard knock life.

PS. Big thanks to Sarah B. and Jeff and Em for bringing by and sending food respectively. It's very appreciated and is already being put to good use.


Dear Sweetums,

I still can't believe you're here. That you're real. When I look down at you I feel so very blessed, and I know that all those months of waiting - and the years before of hoping were absolutely worth it.

I love you so much. More than I ever thought was possible. Last night, I woke up in the quiet darkness with you on one side fast asleep and your Daddy on the other, his hand over my waist and resting on your belly. The sheer perfection of this all brought tears to my eyes.

I have always felt that me and your Daddy had it perfect. What I know now is somehow what was unbelievably good is now absolute heaven.

My small one, you were every wish I made. Every toss into the fountain. Every penny from the sidewalk, every star in the sky. You were my 11:23, my November 11th at 11pm. My every hope and dream. You were our wishes at the temple at Penang. Our lit offering in Phuket. Our kiss under the bridge in Paris.

You are every dream and wish we ever made. Every secret hope I ever had.

I hate to go to sleep now, for fear this s all just a dream. That none of it is real - I'd just wake up to find that this perfection we're living right now couldn't possibly be real. I still don't feel like I deserve this happiness that swells constantly now in my chest. (Your daddy knows this, thus our night of all us curled together in one big bed.)

What I do know is he and I love you powerfully. That this apartment is stretching its boundaries to hold our joy and sheer adoration of you. Each moment feels like such a gift and we're treasuring each and every one of them.

And I promise we spend every moment of our lives from this one on making sure you always feel that.

love always, your mama

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pics... Round 1

Sam here, this AM has been much, MUCH better than yesterday. Turns out our little spud LURVES herself some music. I'll have another post later about my baby whispering skillz. ha.

Until then, enjoy some pics of out little sparkplug.

Sam and Samaire's first dance.

Proud momma minutes after birth.

Cute from day 1.

Samaire has her own style.

Thanks Great Aunt Linda!

Samaire's first visitor! She hopes to have many more.

I'm sure Misty will post more pics later and there will be videos as well for those as obsessed with this little spud as I am. Samaire sends her love, and she's got a whole lot of it to go around.


Monday, August 11, 2008

The Story of How Samaire Joined Our Little Fam

Well, here I am. I should probably be sleeping, but I figured perhaps I'd take advantage of this particular "Sam and Samaire Dance Hour" to tell ya'll how it all went down. (And so someday we'll have the whole story written out ... isn't really, what this is all about?)

So, you guys all know she was running a bit late. And I was doing all kinds of things trying to encourage her. Spicy foods, pineapple, acupuncture ... all kinds of crazy wive's tails. Sam was even more impatient than I was, I guess I was just trying to enjoy those last days of just her and me. But the date of August 10th was hanging heavily over my head. If I wasn't in full labor by midnight that Sunday we'd have to go to labor and delivery, and I really really wanted to try to avoid that.

And so, came Friday morning. And the Castor oil. Interesting fact: there is nothing on the label of said oil about consumption. Not even a warning not to. But my midwife said I should try it to help labor start, and so, I did. This is the trust level people. I lurve her.

So 5:30am rolled around, the alarm went off and Sam got up and mixed me one helluva gross breakfast drink. (Another note: oil in fact does not mix with water. It congeals. It sticks in your throat. It's, well, disgusting doesn't even begin to describe.) I threw it back.

Not without complaint, I admit. But I did drink every last ounce and then crawled back into bed.

Two hours later, at 7am, Sam woke up to go to work. I was feeling alright. Pukey and yucky - but no contractions. He left assuming it hadn't worked. I watched him leave thinking perhaps she'd be born Saturday - and feeling confident we'd make our Sunday deadline at least.

And then, I started feeling worse. But still not awful. Leslie and Sarah both told me they thought labor was starting. I started thinking about whether or not I should shower. Ha. And then figured I'd wait 'til it started for reals. I actually considered going to the store and buying some hair dye to dye my hair while I waited.

But the castor oil was making me feel just badly enough I decided to wait on that. Leslie texted me mentioning perhaps Sam should come home. I texted Sam and asked him to come home for lunch as I was feeling kind of sick. But made sure he knew I was in fact, not in labor, so he only needed to come home for lunch. This is a testament to how much I trust Leslie. :)

So Sam came home. Immediately. Got here at about 10:30. By 11:00 am I was actually sick. Throwing up sick. And I had started having contractions. But manageable ones - I was still convinced we'd be heading to the hospital late that night for a Saturday delivery.

Time One I told Sam I was going to get the epidural: Approximately 12:00pm.
Right after my first painful contraction that subsequently made me hurl into the trash can. Sam called our midwife, I spoke to her for a few minutes and she congratulated us, told me to be strong and brave - coached me through a contraction and then told us to keep in touch.

I eventually ended up just sitting on the floor of the bathroom for an hour breathing through the initial contractions. Once the hurling stopped, I reverted back to perhaps I will go without the epidural. I even eventually made it to the living room floor around 1:30pm. The contractions were getting stronger and around 2:30pm Sam called our midwife back.

She said not to worry and that if it would make us feel better to come on up to her office to get checked. She could then let us know how I was progressing and reassure us that the baby was okay. (We live a short 10 blocks from her office.)

When Sam hung up and told me this plan I was pretty sure it was a bad idea. The idea of getting to her office and then where? back home? and then the hospital later? I wasn't too keen on any of it. Of course by this point I communicated my concerns by saying "No. Hospital. Now."

So at 3:15 we were on our way out our door. Our midwife promising to meet us at the hospital.

Warning: This is when I puff out in pride and love for New York City. And swear we'll never live anywhere else...

Time Two Misty says "No Way I can Do This":
So we live on the fourth floor of a walk-up. I made it down one flight of stairs, Sam behind me with all our stuff, before I had my first frightening OHMYGOD contraction. A contraction that made me yell. A contraction that made me sit on the top step if that second flight of stairs scared to the bone I wouldn't' make it out of the apartment building in time. Or, well, ever.

And then one of our neighbors heard me and came out of her apartment ready to help. She carried all of our stuff while Sam pretty much carried me. And then she waited with me on the stoop as Sam ran to get a cab on the corner.

Jose, our only-Spanish speaking building guy, immediately ran over to me - ready to help me walk to the car. The Latin guys who live down the street stopped their car and yelled "get in! we'll take you!" It felt like the whole neighborhood was determined to get us to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible. It felt great - even in the middle of all the craziness.

Sam had grabbed a cab though - and the cabbie (honking his horn and yelling at people the whole way) drove us quickly to the hospital, never once flinching as I yelled through contractions in the back seat.

Once we got to the hospital our midwife met us at the front door and we all headed in. Our midwife held my hand the whole way as Sam pushed the wheelchair. We were met at our room in the birthing center by Laurie, the greatest nurse ever, and she and Cora (our midwife) immediately went to work alleviating my fears and assessing how far along I was.

The Last Time I Say "No Way I can Do This": (I was wrong)

I believe my first words to Cora in that room were "I'm scared and I don't think I can do this." She looked me straight in the face and said "I know, and we're going to get you through it. You're going to have a beautiful baby so soon!"

I don't think anyone in the room knew how very right she was. It was definitely soon.

Turns out when we got to the hospital I was already 8 centimeters dilated. Essentially I spent the first 15 minutes in a rocking chair as they monitored the baby (strong healthy heartbeat, as always) and then they got me into the jacuzzi. I was there all of maybe 15 minutes before I told Cora things were getting much more intense and when she checked me her reaction was "Out. of. the. tub. NOW."

Next thing I knew I was on the bed leaning over a labor wedge on my knees pushing out a baby. We hadn't been there but 30-40 minutes. Sam stood holding my hands next to my head while Cora sat coaching me, ready to catch the baby. Laurie took turns on each side, constantly reassuring me (and Sam) and helping us through each push. My water broke right before she crowned - she was almost born in the caul. (But that would have been just too obnoxious, don't you think? 08/08/08 and in the caul? I'm glad to see she has some limits to her grandeur.)

And then, before we knew it - she was here. Sam was saying "I can see her - she's so beautiful!" and then I heard her cry.

It was the most amazing moment of my life.

And I think I'll stop the story here for now. There's more, but for right now I think I'll leave you with that.

It was the most amazing moment of my life. I have no words for the love in my heart that started at that moment. I don't believe heaven can be any better than there, in that place with Sam and our Samaire.

And, of course, we took a picture of ourselves right then.

The moment we became three.

Pics (More to Come)

Photo taken today in our garden after our walk to the pediatrician's office.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


So, we've been home for a few hours now. Our friend May met us, helped us carry everything up the stairs and brought flowers AND Koala Yummies. The perfect homecoming.

Samaire is doing awesome. She's a great little eater and an even better sleeper today. She's currently crashed on the couch next to me all bundled in her sunshine blanket from Memere Hagen.

Sam hasn't slept since all this began and I'm still tired, so I'm signing off with promises of lots of pictures tomorrow. And perhaps the whole long story (which, well isn't long at all). Mostly, I just wanted to let all of you know we made it. We're home. Where everything was just as we left it - and completely different all at once.

Once upon a time someone asked Sam if life was different now that he was married. He answered, to my great swooning - "Exactly the same, but sweeter."

I think that goes for where we're at right now,too. Everything is the same, just so very much sweeter.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Well, hm. Where to start?

I guess the main point (ha! point!) is that the needles don't exactly hurt. Though I'll take a nice long massage over doing it all again any day.

I showed up at the office, which was in a really cool part of Chelsea. The neighborhood was seriously nice.

(P.S. Off topic: Good Morning America just showed a bunch of kids on a "mission trip" during the weather break. This totally explains the onslaught of Mormons in my neighborhood this week. I mean, seriously - a couple days ago I passed at least 15 in the span of ONE BLOCK. No one stopped me though. Which is good. I'm not so tolerant or chatty nowadays ...)

ANYWAY ... the neighborhood. Very cool. Brownstones, trees. It was really nice. So, noted.

Alas, when I got to the office the a/c wasn't so much with the air nor the conditioning. This usually isn't a problem for me except during this last month - being hot has not been on my list of pleasurables. But fine, I just drank a ton of water and read my book. My whole attitude at this point with pregnancy is it's just a series of increasingly uncomfortable situations with a baby at the end. It seems to be working for me. (This is where I admit I haven't been all that uncomfortable, which is probably helping my plan quite a bit.)

So, the acupuncturist comes out of her little room. She's very nice, incredibly straight-forward, very down to earth. (I'm not sure what I was expecting ... crazy hippy? eldery mom-type? but she was more preppy-my-age-wow-I'm-getting-to-a-weird-age.) I fill out this great big packet of forms about my medical history while she explains what we'll be doing.

Essentially, what we're doing is putting needles in me. At least that's the majority of what I heard. Needles ...needles ... needles... I'm sure she said other stuff, but, um, I was nervous. But she was kind and before I knew it I was laying on the table with new-agey music playing and she was putting needles in my hands, ankles and lower back.

It was really strange, but completely benign. Putting the needles in was the worst part - not so much cause it was painful, but because it was just so weird. A little pressure-ey, warm. And it felt like she "tapped" them in, which creeped me out. I very firmly concentrated on NOT LOOKING AT MY HANDS as to pretend there were, in fact, no needles in them. Which, surprisingly worked.

The worst part was the lower back. Putting the needles in was uncomfortable, and then she attached an electric pulse to two of them. Nothing major, but for sure annoying. It felt kind of like a lame tattoo. That whole pulsing feeling you get with the needle. I spent a lot fo time thinking about how much more my tattoo hurt and how worth it that was. And, well, how this would be SO WORTH it to have a chance to give labor like I want.

I mean, acupuncture vs. pitocin really isn't much of a choice at all.

So 45 minutes later -which actually went by faster than I expected- she took out the needles, gave me a list of herbs a mile long to begin taking (one which involves mixing Castor oil with vodka and orange juice - can we talk about how suddenly castor oil didn't seem so bad? though it is still a very last last last resort), magnets on certain acupressure points and an appointment reminder for this afternoon.

That's right, I'm going back. (I'm saving up for the massage still, though, don't worry.) I'm determined to do this all naturally. And, well, you know.

One uncomfortable situation after another. Then, baby.

It seems fair.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Up on the Roof

When this old world starts a getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I'll climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space

On the roof, its peaceful as can be
And there the world below don't bother me, no, no

So when I come home feeling tired and beat
I'll go up where the air is fresh and sweet
I'll get far away from the hustling crowd
And all the rat-race noise down in the street

On the roof, thats the only place I know
Look at the city, baby
Where you just have to wish to make it so
Lets go up on the roof

And at night the stars they put on a show for free
And, darling, you can share it all with me
Thats what I said
Keep on telling you

That right smack dab in the middle of town
I found a paradise thats troubleproof
And if this old world starts a getting you down
Theres room enough for two
Up on the roof...


I added a Twitter widget to the side bar over there - for those on anxious baby-watch. (And a link to RSS down below.)

But, um, don't get too excited just yet. We're still waiting.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Yes, we're still waiting. I figure she'll get here when she gets here. I just want to make sure we can still go to the birth center (if she's too late they insist we go to the hospital), but we still have some time for that - so waiting it is.

People are already messing up the pronunciation of her name, dear small babe. I keep correcting them as best I can before she gets here.


Most people are saying it clsoer to how it's spelled - making the last part like a long "a." I know it seems silly to be so picky about it - but it's important to me. That she be called exactly as we name her. She'll have nicknames for sure - but her name, well, Sam and I put a lot of time of making it just right. So now I'm becoming one of those moms. And she's not even here. Ha. God help us all.

Nonetheless the not getting her name right drives me crazy - so don't get your feelings hurt if I call you on it next we speak. :)


Yesterday I got up super early and went to Bryant Park to see the cast of Rent perform for Good Morning America. It was actually really fun once I got over the wanting desperately to still be in bed part. I hadn't actually listened to the soundtrack in quite sometime, and standing there in the park listening to them sing "Seasons of Love" brought tears to my eyes.

I had forgotten how much that musical meant (means) to me. I remember listening to it in high school - seeing the cast on the cover of Newsweek. Dancing around in my apartment in Florida, singing to it with my friend Karen at the top of our lungs.

Dreaming of living in New York someday. Doing it right. Being an artist.

It seemed as possible at the time as actually being in the show. Not at all. It was just dreaming to me then. But twisted up in those lyrics, in those songs was that feeling of community, of chosen-family, of somehow going after what you want when it isn't always the easiest road - and that spoke (speaks) to me on a level I've never been able to explain.

Standing there in the park yesterday morning, in the early morning sun - well, it occurred to me that it's not just dreaming anymore. That all these years later here I am, living in New York - living the life I had hoped for, dreamt about, all those years past. Sure, there's stuff I still want to do, to accomplish, to be here ...

But I'm here. I'm an artist. I have a chosen family I love with the ferocity as if they were blood. Friends that are following their dreams to - rock stars and chefs, artists and designers, musicians and writers. People starting families, living global lives of adventure, people struggling to get by and still reveling in it all.

All of us, in fact, reveling. With only more beauty and wonder and fun and adventure ahead of us.

Someday, when Samaire is older I hope she has this too. This moment of revelation. This moment of clarity -

when she realizes it's not about making her dreams come true anymore, it's just about enjoying living them.