Showing posts from 2008

Last Saturday Night at Julie's Home

Last Saturday, Eric and I drove to Hoboken with the kids to have an adult dinner at Julie's house once the babes were asleep in her bedroom. We had a great time - food and company, as always, were excellent - and I don't have too much to write other than:

A] I'll even admit that it's nice to start getting our lives back now that Avery is a little bit bigger and,
B] Just look at this photo! Am I so lucky to be so much in love with this handsome man! Also, as a side note, on Monday night following this dinner, for the first time Alex totally threw up in his bed and all over himself. Thank goodness, this didn't happen several nights earlier when he was asleep in Julie's bed! I would have been mortified.

8 months

Hi Avery,

Yesterday you turned eight months old. We keep waiting for you to crawl and to grow teeth, but you are taking your time and enjoying life just the way you are.

That's not to say that there have been no big advancements in the past month - you are now queen of the two to three hour morning nap and you have truly started sleeping through the night by our standards which means from about 8 p.m. until after 7 a.m.

Also, in the past few days you have started to imitate more and this includes clapping your tiny hands when I prompt you to do so. You are so proud of yourself and I am so proud of you that you would think we had just found the cure for a horrible disease. Imitation also includes sounds and Alex has found some pretty annoying shrieks that he knows you can copy and the two of you laugh and laugh while I just choose to leave the room smiling, but on the verge of a headache.

Food and faces are also a newer part of who you are and how you communicate. Continuing with t…

Why living near your grandkids just rocks..

...this is certainly not meant to be a guilt trip in anyway, but I was just thinking about how great the kids are (have you sensed yet that there is a theme to this blog) and thinking about how my mom would really love to be here to see 'her babies' instead of being in Florida for so long.

Here are three pictures from the past week, each worth at least the proverbial thousand words:

1. Avery snoozing away during morning nap time. At night now, she sleeps on her belly, but during naps she prefers her side. Even better, because she is sleeping on her tummy at night, she is now sleeping until after 7 every morning. Eric thinks I'm the only crazy person that is sad about this because now I don't get to spend as much time with her.

2. Eric and the kids goofing around - uh, I mean cuddling - under a new sofa blanket. This image should be likened to those Russian matrushka (sp?) dolls, with the tiniest one inside the medium one inside the largest one. Or in other words, Ale…

Hannukah 5769

Tonight is the first night of Hannukah. Alex is almost 5 and this is probably the first year where he was really excited in advance for the holiday to arrive.

I must say, I find the sheer gluttony of the holiday a little bit sickening. I promise you that when Alex opened 2 gifts from Auntie Dawn and 1 giant gift from all 4 grandparents and 1 gift from Grammy's friend Arlynne and some of Avery's gifts, it was probably no different than an addict getting his fix. And Judah Macabee was nowhere in sight.

BUT....I would not deny the little kid his joy. And we had a lovely dinner with family (Grandma and PopPop, you were missed). And Alex and Auntie Dawn had a fun time building with the pirate Legos (and Alex kept referring to the tiny pirates as dudes). And Grandpa Howie read a story to Avery before bed (and Grammy to Alex). If I only could have minimized the gifts, it would have been the perfect start to the holiday!

What Alex thinks about himself...

Image typed by his mommy.

I like alligators that don't bite a lot. Those ones are baby alligators. And I like my baby sister Avery.

I'll tell you something. Next there was dragons, because I like dragons. But I just like baby ones. They spit up fire, they don't breathe fire, they breathe boogers. Their bodies are different than grown up dragons.

I like my teacher Morah Eileen because she does good things that I like. I also like my friends Alexa and Rachel because I just love friends at school and everywhere because they're my friends. I even love my friends that I haven't meeted yet because I just say hi and then they are my friends and I love to have more playdates.

From Alex

I just love you mom.

More things to remember later in life

I just want to make sure that I have the "Avery dance" recorded somewhere for posterity. Who's cuter than her!

7 Months

Hi Avery,

Today you turned seven months old. I can't say that the jump from 6 months to 7 months was as dramatic as previous months. You are still talking and sitting and are toothless, but that's the same as before. This picture shows you standing, but I really just posed you and took the picture super quick before you got distracted and stopped leaning and fell.

I guess the most dramatic difference for me is that it seems all the sudden that you are a part of the family with your own personality (your daddy loves when you get bossy and yell at me!) and own routine. You have regular naps and regular meals and your eyes light up whenever you see someone you know. You also let us know exactly when you don't like something. You are very clear in your communication.

You got to spend your 7 month birthday celebrating at your cousin Sophia's birthday party. There were lots of children running around and you took it all in. So much so that you could not eat your dinner …

Michelle Obama "First Mommy", I'm not

Ah yes, today's modern woman - we have figured out how to do and have it all - a successful career, a satisfying home life, time for ourselves. We have cracked the code, right? Yeah, right!

I was having one of those idyllic I can do it all Mommy moments last week. I had come home early for a conference call that was going to run directly into focus groups. I had not traveled to Chicago with the rest of the team, but rather would be watching the groups on my computer via FocusVision (hooray for modern technology!). Since the groups started at 6p.m., right when Avery and Alex eat their dinner, I was going to cook and prepare all their food in advance and be ready to go. I had also taken out their pajamas for the night, vitamins and toothbrush with toothpaste lined up in the bathroom. I had thought of everything!

To the point that I was even making homemade baby food. Non of that jarred stuff for me! (at least not this night) While on a conference call in which I was not just …

Alex uses the Schwartz

So this is something that I want to remember years from now. I'm writing about it now even though the story takes place this past summer when we were in Fire Island for vacation.

In any case, the house we were in was kind of a dump but we were with good friends eating good food and drinking good wine, so what could be bad? Bugs. Not terrible ones though. Just a giant praying mantis which absolutely fascinated Alex.

I shared the name of this fascinating creature with Alex and then tried to explain the name (the praying part, not the mantis part). I asked Alex to show me what prayer hands looked like. This is what he showed me.

Because in Alex's mind prayer hands must be related to lighting Shabbat candles. All I can write is that I feel so proud and that I have already done a big important part of my job as Alex's parent.

Picture Day!

Today is picture day at the Glen Rock Jewish Center Nursery School. Alex is in the 4s class. This is the outfit he chose to wear today. Seriously, he is too cute and will probably end up costing us a LOAD of money (he wanted me to buy him a suit for picture day, but I said no). The other thing I want to write about this grown up boy is that lately he has taken to talking on the phone with his friends. When he was talking to Rachel this past Saturday he was asking her to wear a sparkly dress when she came over so she would look like a princess. It was SOOO sweet. He will also scroll through the caller ID and call random friends of ours. Last night he talked to Adam about school and native Americans. It is going just too fast. Avery better not crawl anytime soon or I'm going to cry.

How is it possible?

So I spent the afternoon in SoHo today at one of the advertising agencies that does work for Unilever. And I'm wondering, how is it humanly possible that I am not only a mom of one kid, but a mom of two kids AND I live in New Jersey suburbs AND I work in Englewood Cliffs. There is no way that this fits with who I think I am.

Luckily, I have that Leo superiority complex thing going for me. As I sat in that meeting, with the cool agency people and my colleagues from Unilever I kept thinking I am WAY more like these city folk than the people I work with.

But after today, I think I need to get back in black and stop looking like a such a suburban sweatpants mom. Time for a shopping spree!

How to lead a happy life

So in thinking about the phrase "It takes a village" I am struck by just how true this rings for me in every aspect of my life, not just raising a child.

I have a happy home life because Eric and Jenny and her sisters and her mom, Caty (a.k.a. Mama) and the grandparents and aunts and uncles all make it so easy for me to be happy there.

Work right now is a different story. There I am an island. I have no team working with me and I have an admin with major attitude who tells me she has no time for me.

So who loses in a situation like this? Frankly, it's work because it's 4 p.m. and I am ready to get up and leave for the day.

Halloween and Stats

On Friday, I took Alex and Avery to the doctor before trick-or-treating. Avery was due for her six month check up and a bevy of vaccines and Alex needed a flu shot so I just tagged him on to the appointment.

Lesson learned - never schedule a doctor appointment at 3:15 on a Friday, particularly a Halloween Friday. We waited for what felt like hours cooped up in a little room because some girl had an earring backing that her ear grew around because she didn't clean it (yes, gross and that actually can happen!).
And with Cooper's pre-trick-or-treating Halloween party starting at 4, I became more and more agitated. But of course it all worked out in the end. - we made it to the party with minimal tears (Avery - when receiving her vaccines, Alex - when he saw Jack trick-or-treating on our street without him as we were pulling into our driveway).
So Avery is officially 17 lb 7 oz and 26.5 in. This puts her in the 77th percentile for both height and weight. As I say to the nurse everyti…

6 months

Hi Avery,
Today you are six months old. For you the day is already over, you are in your crib fast asleep wearing a pair of lion footie pajamas that used to be Alex's. Hopefully, I wont hear from you until at least 6 a.m., but I know better and expect that you will demand a bottle on the early side of 5:30. What will we do when daylight savings is over!

So in the past few days, you have started the most adorable of baby babbling and I swear you are saying 'mama' and 'dada' (or in reality, mamamamamamama and dadadadadada). It is just so cute and fills my heart with crazy immense joy and love for you - even on the early side of 5:30 a.m. This picture shows you never stopping the babbling, no matter what you are doing.

Also in the past month, you have started eating solid foods. And there are ones that you clearly like, love and hate:
Like: green beans, prunes, sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas, rice and oatmeal cereals
Love: peaches and peas (I have never seen anythi…

Four years, seven months and nine days

Or in other words, how long it took me to give in. We'll see if I last this long with Avery. This is Alex's tongue and face after about half a ring pop. The shiny hood is a part of his knight in shining armor costume.

It was a very good night

So no teeth yet, but maybe the pushing has subsided. Another happy, smiling, feeling like a family kind of evening. While Eric ran on the treadmill and listened to 80s hairband rock, Alex jumped on the bed in the same room and Avery sat on the changing table and literally swayed in time to the music. She particularly liked "Fallen Angel" by Poison. I wish I could have taken video of it, but I was afraid to pick her up and go get the camera because she might not want to dance anymore and I was afraid to leave her and get the camera for obvious reasons. Anyway, after the treadmill and dancing were done, the mood continued on the bed in the room and these are some of the pictures I took.

This last one I want to include just to show you how big Alex is. I can't believe he is still only 4 in this photo. He looks like he's stretching to run a marathon (a mischievous marathon).

Meetings or Screaming Baby?

Avery is clearly growing teeth. I can see the two little white bumps straining against her tiny gums.
So she is: - screaming a lot - not sleeping a lot - needing to be held a lot - drooling a lot
All in all, not so much fun being around her right now. Oddly, with folks being even more out of control with meetings at work, I am still so happy to get home to that crabby girl, because I know inside that little monster she is this:

Happy (Almost) Birthday, Hubby!

This is the 10th birthday that I spent with Eric since we reconnected. And I must say that he looks just as young and handsome as he did when I first spied him at a party at his house at UMASS when he was 21 (definitely more than 10 years ago). His youthfulness is amazing given the mortgage, the car payments, the two kids the two fish.

Let me take the opportunity to comment on how lucky I am to have married a handsome, smart, funny, caring, loving mensch (in every sense of the word).

I love you, Eric. Bashert, baby, bashert!

Wow - 2 Yiddish words in one post, now that's something you wont likely see from me again.


So beyond my selfish narcissistic need to be a mommy of young children that LOVE ME and ADORE ME, there is exactly one reason that I desperately wanted to have a second child - so that Alex could have what Dawn and I have, what Eric and Josh have. This is obviously the start of a beautiful friendship.

Life should always be this way

And by "this way" I mean 75 degrees, sunny, sitting in the backyard without shoes, working from home with my mom over quietly reading a book and waiting for her grandkids to arrive.

Better Late Than Never

I want to take just a minute to honor and remember Naomi Harris Narev. Her birthday would have been October 4 had she not died from breast cancer five and a half years ago.

Her spirit lives on through Alex (who is named after her). Like Naomi, Alex likes to join me in singing corny top 40 songs while driving. And he's working on, although not yet perfected, her Kiwi accent.

Miss you Nomi.

Warm Fuzzy Feelings

So last night we went to Kol Nidre services at the Glen Rock Jewish Center (we're members now) and we decided to bring Avery, but to leave Alex to play at our neighbors house.

And as we were walking to synagogue, Alex ran ahead, just couldn't wait to play with Jack and Steven and then it was just Eric, me and Avery (in her stroller) walking at dusk and I was thinking about just how lucky we were to live in this town. It was one of those idyllic moments where you just utterly belong, like a virtual hug.
And then in synagogue both last night and today, people coming up to us because they had heard that we had joined (love that small community feeling) and it being okay that Avery was squawking away because she was just so charming with that smile.
And then today, over at the Hillmans' for break fast. The kids just playing so nicely and it feeling like, family.

Score one point for Glen Rock!

The Start of New Things

So I'm not sure why, but now that I have two kids, two fish that no one else will care for, a full time job and a house that needs to be taken care of inside and out is when I have started to want to record the events of family Schwartz somewhere.

I can't promise that I'll be good and will write every day or even every week, but I promise to put cute stories and photos and videos up whenever I can.

And here's where we start - Alex is 4 and a half,

Avery 5 months.

The stock market is in shambles and for some reason I believe an apocalypse could be on the way given the state of the roads and construction in Englewood Cliffs.

And me - No time for this right now. Took me all afternoon to even get this far.

More soon.