Archives for the month of: February, 2010

This guy walked into a restaurant today.

Clarification: a restaurant that I was *also* at.  He sat down at a table right next to me, joining a small group of friends including a young girl with whom August had been flirting.

He looked REALLY good.  Just sayin’…


On a cold, dreary, wet day like today, I highly recommend wearing red lipstick.

It really brightens up your day.

Tompkins Square Park is only two or three blocks from our sublet.  It’s a GREAT park with a GREAT playground.  August has become an expert at spotting playgrounds and subway stops; if his eagle eyes spy either, he sits up in his stroller and points enthusiastically.  Because he loves playing…

…on the slide

…on the tire swing

…and on the benches!

This article about Roger Ebert is really moving.

We’ve done it again.

Due to the snowy weather we’ve had recently, I decided to get some wellies to trudge through the slush (the puddles surrounding the curbs are deceptively DEEP).  This picture was taken on the roof of my building during our little winter storm last Wednesday.

I got my boots from–where else–Craigslist.  Did you think I paid retail for them?  No way!  Not even close.  And I LOVE them!  August has had his wellies for a while; they are from a thrift shop in Cam.  I think I paid 75p for them.  Sigh…I miss the charity shops of Cambridge.  Big time.

Not that I’m planning anything, but one of the best things about living in NYC is that the Craigslist options are ENDLESS!  Since regular folks like me can’t afford to live here, I don’t think I’d ever pay full price for anything but food ever again!  For example, IF I was going to furnish a small flat here (read: IF), check out these amazing things I could get for FREE on Craigslist:

Saarinen-style Table

This is possibly the coolest free item ever.  It’s my only-in-my-dreams table, and I was planning to settle for the cheap(er) Ikea version.  But a *free* one?  Yes, please!  I may or may not have contacted the “seller” to see if it’s still available…


I’m pretty sure this free crib is this one from Ikea.


Looks like this free dresser is pretty solid.

Sleeper Sofa

I’m kinda digging the what looks like orange corduroy on this free sleeper sofa.

With a little elbow grease, these items could be spiffed up in no time.

Just sayin’…

I’ve already shown you how small my sublet is, and like I said, I think that small spaces are underrated.  One major advantage is that I don’t have to look very far to keep an eye on August if he’s playing independently.  Another advantage is that his creativity is working overtime.  Just check out the “fun” he’s gotten into in the past couple days.

The last one is my fave.  Standing on a pot, getting into the fridge and his EXPRESSION: “Busted!”  Love it.


My sublet is s-m-a-l-l.  I can deal with it on a short term basis.  But the 1 bedroom situation (I gave August the bedroom, and I am sleeping in my kitchen/living room/dining room) is a dealbreaker for any longterm stay.

However, I believe in small spaces.  I don’t know if I’d ever want anything bigger than our old house in Providence, which was I think around 1500 square feet.  It was the perfect size in my opinion.

Seeing what this former editor of now-defunct Blueprint magazine did with just 307 square feet is inspiring.

Add a little room (just a little one) for August, and I would TOTALLY live there.  Totally.

LONG ago, I did a post of Pregnancy Must Haves and Nursery Must Haves.  The babies that inspired those posts have been born and are all well beyond the newborn stage, but I have a dear friend due to give birth in May so this goes out to her.  And I’m going to try to put together older baby must have lists soon.

Of all the phases that August has been through, newborn was BY FAR the most challenging.  My parents very generously stayed with us for a week after he was born (cooking all of our meals, cleaning, helping us pack and just generally doing amazing things), and I remember nearly having a nervous breakdown watching them drive away.  “How am I going to do this?”  Here’s what helped me (and August) survive those rough first weeks.

Receiving blankets

I must’ve had twenty receiving blankets.  Swaddling was KEY with August.

Buzzy chair

These things are pretty ugly.  So if you buy yours before your baby arrives (and not on Day 8 in a desperate attempt to soothe a cranky baby like we did), then you might have time to revamp it to look like this:

Redesigned Bouncy Chair from the ever-useful Ohdeedoh.



If you’re nursing, your body is going to be pretty busy the first couple weeks until you and baby become efficient at breastfeeding.  Constant access means you rarely stay fully dressed for long.  I recommend a bathrobe because you never know who’ll be stopping by with a new little one around.  And sometimes you won’t even have the energy to get dressed.  Truth.

Nursing gown

Or if you’re a girl on a budget like me, use button down tops (hello husband work shirt!), wrap dresses or cheap stretchy camisoles.


Have these stocked in your fridge the moment you return from the hospital.

Medela Lanolin

Without getting too graphic (though I have no problem being candid, but I know some of my readers wouldn’t be able to handle it), this ointment is lovely.  The more popular Lansinoh brand is AWFUL; it’s really tacky so it feels like you’re rubbing chewing gum over an already TENDER area.  This stuff is like buddah.  

Water – No link to buy water: use your tap!

Stay hydrated!  Period.

Kimono-style onesies

When August was a newborn, I felt, as many new parents do, that he was super fragile and that I’d break him.  Even putting onesies on over his head made me think I was going to snap his spinal cord.  Using these kimono-style onesies relieved the pressure since they don’t go over baby’s head at all!  Whew!  Once he beefed up a bit and held up his head I relaxed and was VERY satisfied with regular onesies.

Sitcoms on DVDs

I recommend comedies because when you’re up at 4am trying to coax a hungry newborn to nurse, you’ll need *something* to pick up your spirits.  I know a lot of people talk about the importance of bonding during these times and blah blah blah, but sometimes you’re just going to be in survival mode.  Both of you.  So give yourself a bit of a break; there will be PLENTY of time for bonding later.  I especially love these sitcoms:

Arrested Development

The Office (yes, the British version because, yes, it’s better)

These are the things that really stick out in my mind about surviving the first month with a newborn.  A really helpful husband should be added to the list as well (Eric was AMAZING during that time).  Everyone’s different, and what worked for me might not work for others (having a stroller during the first month was pointless for August and me).  You figure it out as you go.  

If I had to do it again, I would’ve probably used a sling for those first few weeks.  My friend Lily, August’s girlfriend’s mom, has the raddest sling ever.  It’s about 10 feet long and you just wrap it around your body in a bazillion possible ways to make the perfect sling for you and your little one.

The last thing that I’ll say is that every day gets better and better.  Little improvements creep along and soon everyone will find a happy medium.  And then…it’s just the most amazing thing ever.

August Miles at 6 days old.  One of my favorite pictures of him as a newborn.