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Archive for May, 2011

Cereal

Remember when I got all choked up about Miles eating his first Cheerios?  Well, breakfast is at a whole different level now.   Instead of a handful of Cheerios on a tray, he’s eating a bowl of Kashi with milk, using the spoon himself.  Robin and I actually just sit there and eat our own food.  It’s bizarre — and, of course, cute.   And I hardly ever cry about it.
 
Spooning.

 

Body art.

 

Concentration.

 

Shoving it in.

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Miles and Joe

One of the highlights of our trip West (yes, we are still wistful about vacation) was an evening of food and revelry with our friends Inder and Steve and their delightful, abundant-with-cheeks-and-curls son, Joe.  Steve cooked up a feast, Inder baked bread and cookies, and we gathered around the table with wine and stories.

Inder and I e-mail almost daily (along with a third friend), a tradition which began when I was miserably third-trimester pregnant and turned to her for hope.  Pregnancy was never-ending, I complained.  Would this baby ever get out of me?  Though she was toting her abundant-with-cheeks-and-curls infant around the house, swaddling and nursing and diapering, she found time to assure me that eventually, somehow, I would have the baby and move on. 

Because Inder had Joe six months before I had Miles, she is always just ahead of me on the parenting journey.  If we were in a covered-wagon caravan, she would be in the wagon in front of mine, holding up a lamp and shouting back warnings about coming dangers.  Childbirth, teething, solid foods, mastitis, temper tantrums — she hits them all before I do and tells me what to expect.  It’s amazing, really.  I couldn’t have planned it better myself.  (If you want to learn from her experiences as well, check out her crafting/cooking/parenting/gardening blog.)  She’s shockingly multi-talented.

The only drawback to this six-month age gap has been that Miles and Joe, in their infrequent get-togethers, haven’t figured out how to play together.  Joe is just bigger and stronger and more coordinated.  It’s not just the age difference though — Joe was climbing ladders well before the age of 18 months.  He’s an athletic kid!  Usually Miles stares in awe while Joe climbs things.  Instead of joining in, he placidly fiddles with blocks or opens a book.  The only activity they have truly done together is stare out the window looking for garbage trucks.

This time was different.  They ran, they climbed, they pushed cars, they tore magnets off of the refrigerator.  They even had a massive giggle-fest at the dinner table.  It warmed my heart — and not only because it seemed like a huge step in their friendship.  It also gave the adults a chance to relax, catch up, and sip some wine.  Now that’s vacation.

Truckin' along.

 

Chow fun.

 

Climbing buddies.

Toddler magnetism.

Yay! Friends!

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Golden Gate Park.

Oh, you thought you were done with our vacation photos? Think again! We took 382 of those suckers, and you’re not getting off the hook so easily. Mwah ha ha ha ha!

My plan is to do some entries that are just photos for awhile. With maybe a little commentary — you know me.

During the Northern California portion of our trip, we visited with our friends Alda and Hil and met their excruciatingly cute infant twins, Amelia and William. Alda and Hil tried to tempt us to moving to San Francisco. They plied us with delicious burritos and took us for a walk in their charming neighborhood and then to the park. This is Miles resisting their hard sell tactics.

You talkin' to me?

And I was pleased that Robin caught this lovely moment back at their house.

Hil, Amelia, Miles.

Because, obviously if we move to California the welcoming committee will just hand us a house in the city with its very own piano. Duh.

Miles also had a great time visiting family in Northern California. He got some quality time with my mom and with my Aunt Debbie and Uncle Barry, among other lovely people. (When we got on the plane for Hawaii, he started looking around and asking, “Debbie? Debbie? Where?”) He also became quite fond of the, er, rocks in Debbie and Barry’s back yard.

Yay, rocks! Long live rocks!

Geez, you’d think we don’t have rocks in Brooklyn! He also discovered the joy of watering tomatoes. And grass. And flowers. And sidewalks. And Mommy’s shoes.

A man with a can.

We whisked him out of California before he could put down any roots. He boarded his 14th flight, and we were off to Hawaii!

Cars and trucks and things that go.

Stay tuned for more photos.

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In our recent travels to California, love once again vanquished fear.  In this case, it was Miles who feared a giant, gentle dog named Duke.  His desire to be near Duke proved stronger than his terror, and within a day Miles could be heard wandering around the house asking, “Duke?  Duke?”  He badgered us until the nearest willing adult led him out to wherever Duke happened to be napping at the time.

The big guy himself.

 Miles certainly preferred napping Duke to walking-around-licking-faces Duke.  A too-close encounter with his new friend sometimes led Miles to scurry away, head down, shoulders hunched up and fists clenched near his chest.  But he always came back for more, and he loved watching Duke eat, drink water, go for a walk, sleep, or … well, that’s about all Duke does. 

'Duke?"

 By the end of the trip, he was even petting Duke.

"Duke!"

 

No, we are not getting a dog  — I don’t want to clean up any more poop, thank you very much.  Yet it’s amazing how much joy a dog can bring to a child. 

Giggles.

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Three Weddings

The past six weeks have passed in a whirl of gaiety.  Now, while everyone else is booking summer travel, stockpiling beach reads and dusting off their luggage, we are jet-lagged, happy, and settling back in at home.  Here, we look back on a season of three very special weddings that took us to California, then home to Brooklyn, then back to California, then to two Hawaiian islands, and finally home again.  Why did we travel so far, one wedding after another, with a toddler in tow?  What dragged us across time zones and back again?  Put simply: love.  The whirl is over, but the glow remains. 

Jason and Cera

I have been many things in many weddings.  A flower girl, a maid of honor, a chuppah carrier.  Never before this April have I walked down the aisle in the official role of “Yoda’s mother.”  Yet that is exactly what I did in the wedding of my dear cousin, Jason, and his partner Cera.  Their memorable and lovely wedding on the beach in Monterey had, if not a theme exactly, an undercurrent of Star Wars. 

Boba Fett and Yoda before the ceremony.

“Star Wars?” people ask, wrinkling their brows in confusion.  Yes.  Star Wars.  And let me tell you, it was awesome.  As in, my cousin Jason was led down the aisle, hostage-style, by a 5-year-old dressed as Boba Fett.  Miles walked down the aisle (with my help) in costume as Yoda.  The bride processed under a banner of light sabers, and… you get the picture.  The requisite feeling of solemnity was there — the sense of the transformative moment — and the Star Wars touches lent a sweet inside-joke sort of feeling to the day.  Everything about the wedding was warm, intimate, gently humorous, and infused with love. 

Parents of the groom.

My cousin is very special to me.  He is one of only two cousins, the boy who came along and ruined my status as only child in the whole family.  In his babyhood, I held with awe his soft and wiggly mass against my 5-year-old chest — and famously dropped him, hollering in alarm, “Auntie Debbie, come quick!  I think I broke him!”   As a child, he followed me around begging me to play He-Man with him and told his class at show-and-tell about how “cousing Meyissa” was coming to visit.  As he grew, he was naturally less impressed with me, yet our lives have kept a certain synchronicity.  Like me, he became a journalist after college.  Like me, he left journalism to teach English.  And like me, he has married a funny, warm, loving, amazing woman who enriches our family.

Jason and Cera, may the Force be with you.

Yoda and his mother.

 

There is no try. Only "I do."

 

Light saber tunnel.

 

 
 

Kate and J.R.

On my first day at the daily legal newspaper where I worked right after college, I met Kate.  My quick first impression: young, brilliant, funny.  I quickly added guarded, merciful, and in possession of an awe-inspiring collection of life skills.   With cool composure, this 22-year-old shepherded me through my first business lunch and my first several months in the stifling confines of a cubicle, writing about law and business, two subjects about which I had no business opining.  This is the same newspaper where Robin and I met and worked together for five years.  As we shared beers, deadlines and the turbulent loves and sorrows that attend the 20s, our friendship with Kate morphed into something distinctly familial.  Kate was there — funny, merciful, and brilliant — as we deepened in love, as we married not once but twice, as Robin became my boss, and as one of our marriages was nullified by the courts.  We traversed various deep personal losses together.  When we moved away to New York, she saw us off.  When we finally got pregnant, she cheered.  And when she married her also quite funny, caring and brilliant partner J.R. in San Francisco, we felt joy at being able to attend.  

The wedding was stylish, intellectual and delightfully brief.  Afterward, we danced and celebrated with a collection of old friends until Miles, quite dapper in a suit and tie, conked out. 

Dressed to kill.

 

Momma, Miles and Liz.

 

The little guest.

 

Dreamy.

 

 

Kim and Mike

They married in Hawaii; any other place would be out of the question. It was not a destination wedding. No. The wedding was in Hawaii because Kim is Hawaii. She is salt water, shave ice, sand, history, plate lunch, cultural blend, hiking, camping, ocean, ocean, ocean. Or, as I put it to Robin in response to her ruminations about what Kimmy’s approaching wedding and our trip to Hawaii meant to her: a trip to the Big Island is like a visit to Kim’s heart. So it was right and fitting that we should travel to her heart to witness her marriage to Mike.

Jenna.

In college, where Kimmy and Robin met, Kim declared that she would — if she ever did marry– be wed knee deep in the ocean. If she invited anyone to attend, they could stand on the shore. Later she threatened to elope , but she relented, and the two of them planned an intimate, personal ceremony that reflected both of them.  They stood on land owned by Mike’s uncles, vowing to share their lives as the ocean heaved and crashed majestically behind them.  Their self-written vows were almost musical, each verse building on the last with repetition and variation.

Stanford crew.

After the intensity of the ceremony came the levity of food and dancing.  We schmoozed with old friends and with Kim’s extended family (well known to Robin because of a 6-month road trip she and Kim took together).  Miles danced and ate and charmed until at last he fell asleep in Robin’s arms.   

Many people are cynical about weddings or bored with attending them, but I am not.  During the ceremony, Robin had to retreat to the back to entertain Miles, so we weren’t together when the couple read their vows.  Though we weren’t side by side, I knew Robin was crying the way I was.  Here were two mere humans standing at the earth’s edge, tossing their flimsy and beautiful promises into the abyss.  To marry is brave, terrible, foolish, hopeful and sublime.  Watching, I always remember our wedding day and the moment in the middle of our ceremony when, overcome with emotion, I interrupted the proceedings because I absolutely needed to throw my arms around Robin right at that moment.  

Dancing with the bride.

 

Happy place.

 

Sleeping beauty.

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