Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Sunday in Coney Island

A couple weekends ago Sam and I went out to Coney Island to visit Maire's Aunties, Mikki and Bazi. It was a fun-filled time as always. (We really don't see each other enough, though I think I would feel that way if we were neighbors...) Anyway, here's a little bit of our adventures:

Daddy and Daughter in the jellyfish building at the Coney Island Aquarium.

Here we are watching the jellies. She LURVED it!

And what trip would be complete without a stop at Nathan's? World Famous, you know. Here I am letting her in on the delicious secret that is orangeade.

She doesn't believe me. Truly, it is SO DELICIOUS.

I'm so lucky to have my lovely, awesome, amazing little family.

Thank you, Baz, for these photos. *You* are awesome.

Thinking dreaming Hoping

I love the story. A small family, not royal, not famous, not rich, expects a child. Under circumstances that aren't ideal. They do their best to prepare; they do their best to be safe. And while they are trying desperately to keep it together, to make a home, a safe respite for their small blessing - something else happens. The news spreads. Kings lift up their scabbards, robes, and scepters and begin traveling to where they believe the baby will be. Small groups of shepherds herd their flocks to be nearer; people gather. All kinds of people from all kinds of places. They gather with hope in their hearts, anticipation in their souls.

They believe that this small babe shall change the world. Make it better. Make it brighter, bring them light.

They don’t know how, or why. Just that this will happen. And they want to play a part. They want to honor this symbol of hope, this symbol of light. This child. They want to kneel before him, before his family, on that dark night. They know not else to do.

But somehow, in the story, that is enough. That they believe in the hope of this child. That the world can be made better, different, more lovely. Peaceful. Hopeful. Beautiful. By this, the smallest of creatures.

(Who among us, even today, wants to believe differently?)

People's hearts were turned that night. And stayed turned for centuries. All because one small child was born. Because people believed that was all it took.

One. Small. Child.

Savior or no, I still believe that's all it takes. The hope that one small, helpless, lone being can change the course of a world gone wrong; can turn hearts and minds to a better place. To making a better place.

Sure, most people celebrate Christmas because their savior was born that night. I celebrate each day because a CHILD was born that night. That thousands were, and are, and will continue to be - that night, this night and all the nights to follow. And with each comes the blessed hope that things will be made right. Better. Peaceful.

Our world can change it's course, and with every night star, every birth, every gathering that hope should be renewed. Should be recognized, acted upon, celebrated.

Because, each of us, in our time, was that child. We were that hope. We are that hope. We perpetuate it.

This world will change. It will become the place those kings and shepherds dreamed of. The one angels from the stars announced and promised. We just need to have that kind of belief, that kind of hope in our hearts.

Every child is such a blessing. Each time I get the email, or phone call letting me know another friend has met their little miracle, my hope is one thousand time renewed. We are making this world a better place.

We are parents.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Feeling Much Better

She's officially back to her ornery self.

:) I love it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fevered baby

Guilty mama for loving all this cuddle time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

It was a good weekend. Spent with good friends.

And now, she sleeps. So peaceful, so beautiful. I kept looking at her this weekend and thinking how *fun* she is now. She's onery and joyful and stubborn and kind and I'm so proud of her and the little girl she's growing into being. But this morning, wonderfully, she's my baby again. Curling into my arms and sighing to sleep. "These are the days of miracle and wonder."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We went to the aquariumm today!

It was especially fun because of Maire's awesome aunties!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009


She is, unerringly, absolutely ridiculous.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

13 months

Little, crazy girl,

You are officially on your way to toddlerhood, if not already arrived. This was a crazy month for us - full of family and parties and travel (three out of the last five weekends away from home!)... and through it all you laughed and talked and toddled like nobody's business.

You're pretty much running now. And you've craved out a little room of sorts for yourself now, by your crib on the other side of our bed. You like to go there and move stuff from place to place (your daddy calls you The Relocator and it's apt - that and cleaning things seems to be some of your favorite activity). You sit on the floor holding the yoga Pez dispenser and the flashlight, singing to yourself and having a grand time.

That's been the most amazing thing to see this month - you are pretending now. Hugging your Elmos (all three of them - almost always at once), talking to your toys, moving them about in a little play only you really understand. You have all kinds of games you play - sometimes with me - sometimes alone. You are *really* good at making your own fun and that makes me so proud.

You're also learning to carve out your own space. No matter where we are - but especially in this, our too small apartment. This 350 or less square feet of ours definitely lacks in room to roam, but your finding places you can call yours. The other side of the bed, for example - or the little step you made out of Daddy's camping equipment in front of the window. You cleared a little space and now have your very own perch to look out at the garden. You seem endlessly fascinated there. You and I have that very much in common: we both can spend hours watching people go by.

Watching the cat go by, however, is not one of your favorite things. Why must she always be so fast? You chase her back and forth, back and forth ... moving your little fingers trying to call her like Daddy and I do, yelling "CAT!!" It makes me smile. You LOVE her now. You've mastered "gentle pets" though every once in a while the hugs get a bit too strenuous (Schiele doesn't seem to mind).

Our cat's not the only animal you're loving on here in our tiny abode. Daddy got you five fish! You stand trying to touch them through the glass, squealing with delight when they follow your fingers.

You have so much love, Maire. My heart just bursts. You are so kind. Not just to the cat and fish - but to your friends at school, too. You try to comfort them when they cry - giving pats and holding hands... I know this is not something we can really teach you, that it's something deep inside you. An empathy, a kindness. It shines like the sun when you smile.

One of the old men in our neighborhood stopped me the other day. You were playing shy, burying your head in my shoulder. "She's so beautiful," he said. "She's inside beautiful. Thank you for sharing her with us. She's our princess. Our Hell's Kitchen Princess. Our Beauty. It means a lot to all of us that she's here."

And I looked down at you, smiling shyly at him. And over to him, tears welling in his eyes as he thanked me for sharing that smile with our neighborhood and I thought - you are a princess. Not some fairy tale, waiting on a prince girl - but a grace, a loveliness. There's a reason people smile when they see you. A reason our neighborhood crowds around and loves you.

You are joy. You are endless, boundless joy.

You aren't just changing my life, small one. Every day, every single day you are doing good.

And I couldn't be prouder.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Right before her first road trip

She did awesome. We got to Rochester at about midnight and we all slept wonderfully in our king-sized bed. Now its big naps before the weddding!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

our little girl

Looks not so much the baby anymore.... And while part of me will always miss my squirmy worm, every day getting know this precious daring girl is such a gift.

P.S. Thanks Papa and Grandma Bell for the dress AND the beloved baby elmo!