Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween...

From the chick magnet.
His faux hawk breaks my heart.

Can you tell we're not Halloween people? Duct tape and magazine cutouts will do.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Unlamed, if not untamed

What did you do this weekend? Oh, you know, went to stunt school and jumped off a 30 ft rig. We headed all the way to a semi sketchy area of Brooklyn for this outing, and pushed little Ferris past graffiti, barbed wire, and a warehouse that advertised its expertise at live chicken slaughter.


Nick has always been the 'fraidy cat when it comes to things like this, so I jumped while he stayed with Ferris. The class started out learning the proper technique on low practice mats. Some people had to go 10+ times, but after my very first jump, the instructor said, "Uuuum, you're good at this." Gymnastics pays off again! For a moment, I imagined quitting my job to train at stunt school and make my way to Hollywood and become a stunt double for famous actresses and live in a Bel Air mansion just like MASH RAP told me I would. But let's be honest, Brooklyn is just soooo faaar to go on regular basis. So I stopped imagining and started jumping. Maybe it's my age, or maybe it's motherhood, but the adrenaline rush that used to be so exciting was a little scary.

The mat is about 10 ft high, and the class is jumping from 20 ft above it (30 ft off the ground.)
So here's how to free fall for those of you who want to practice on your bed. Spotter yells, "all clear!" You yell, "falling!" Then you jump and kick your feet out so you're lying horizontally and follow 2 rules: 1) always land on your back 2) land flat to spread the impact over the greatest possible surface area (ie don't tuck your head in like most people will do instinctively) Let me show you how it's done.


Ferris slept through it all and woke up just in time to express his rabid love for moose while we ate waffle sandwiches (yum!) And now, back in safe old Manhattan, Nick is making dinner and I'm back to being lame.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Who ordered the dolphin?


 The first time I took Ferris out of our little neighborhood bubble, I was terrified. That day, I finally put my finger on exactly why I've always loved New York: it offers constant and relentless distraction. What's that noise, that smell? How much is that bag? Is that guy peeing? Once tasked with Keeping Ferris Alive in the face of the busyness, I felt overwhelmed by New York for the first time. But through some combination of Ferris's growth, my experience commuting with him in a carrier, and Nick's assistance carrying the stroller up and down the subway stairs, we've been spending our weekends exploring different parts of the city together. I wonder how much of his personality is already shaped by living here, what skills of observation and curiosity have been fostered by his exposure to the city and its people. This was the best possible place to have a little one. 

Look what we found!

Grand Piano in Washington Square Park


This street jazz band made us feel like we were characters in a Woody Allen movie!


Ventriloquist in Washington Square Park, mama/baby ponchos, Chelsea Highline


The Bronx Zoo


Oh, and this is happening.
Don't worry, my pops was standing by to catch me!
He's becoming so opinionated and confident! I don't know how it's possible for a baby to have such confidence, but he knows what he wants and is undeterred by any attempts to direct his attention. On the subway, he cranes his neck at the most awkward of angles (remember Reagan from The Exorcist?) to stare at his person of choice.

Commuting with a baby on the subway is a follow up to "Who gives up a seat for a pregnant lady on the subway?" Far more people offer a seat for a woman with an outside baby, and the demographic of people who offer is much less predictable. Interestingly enough, the timing makes a big difference. If I leave too early in the morning, I run into school kids who rarely offer a seat. If I leave too late after work, I get a train full of the most blatantly rude people, always anchored by some bitter old hag grumbling about how she can't believe people bring babies on the subway. But most of the time, I encounter smiling people (both men and woman) making goofy faces at Ferris (and melting when he smiles back) or staring while he sleeps on my chest.

If you're reading this post wondering what it has to do with dolphins, your patience will pay off! There are so many great ways to answer the question, "Who ordered the dolphin?!"


And just because.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Four months!

Skinny baby, tired mom, trooper dad
Being a mom is hard. Being a working mom is hard. Being a working mom with an exclusively breastfed baby is really really really really really really really hard. None of it could happen without Nick, who washes the bottles, fills endless glasses of water, cleans the house, packs the lunches, walks the dog, basically does everything! Maybe one day we can pretend we're a developed nation and offer more than 12 weeks of maternity leave. But until then, I'm exhausted to the point of slurring my words since homeboy is still getting up twice each night. Fun fact: I haven't slept through the night in a year! Don't get me wrong, these are not complaints. Trying to fit two awesome lives into one is a nice problem to have. Luckily, I still make time for pictures. (Which is about all you're going to get out of me until further notice!)

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Hey, ladies
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The teachers and the parents at the daycare gush over Ferris, how happy he is, how he's always smiling, how he's always flirting, how he never cries. Tuesdays are the best and the worst for me, because of Tuxedo Tuesday. We bought his Tux onesie for the wedding, but why let it go to waste? He's going to wear it every Tuesday until he grows out of it!

Everybody loves Tuxedo Tuesdays!
Ferris is still obsessed with his hands. Our little bulimic baby sucks on his fingers after every meal until he spits up. We try to keep him busy, "HEY, what an interesting moose for you to play with! Ferris, look at your gee-raffe! Ferris, get the hannies out of the mouth! Ferris, keep the milk inside the body!" Our efforts are in vain, as you can see.

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It's my hanny and I'll suck if I want to
A bonus video from our Labor Day trip to Boston! (Yes, we went to Boston, sorry, no time to write about that!)


F misses our daily walks and lights up when I put him in the stroller. He gets to go out every day in a quad stroller, but no more wandering through Central Park every day for hours upon hours. (P.S. 4 babies in a quad stroller is one of the cutest things I've ever seen!)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The view from the ground

Late. That's how we'll roll, now that the family photographer is back to her real job. Funny how photos from a couple of weeks ago are "old" when it comes to a wee one. Ferris just proved a couple days ago that he can roll over back to front AND front to back; what an overachiever! These tummy time pictures are from Labor Day weekend, proof that so much can change in less than 2 weeks. New York has turned chilly and these summer days are officially over. The summer of George Ferris! Oh, how I'll miss you.

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"OH MAH GEE, I don't understand why I gotsta do tha tum tizz AGAIN."
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'"TREE?!"
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Of course I jumped up and down when I got this frozen drool drop!

First important lesson: keep smiling even though you can't win 'em all.
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Friday, September 2, 2011

New York boy meets the Midwest

Here we are at 3 months old! It's all about the hands. Ferris's hands have now explored their way down to his little feet and he spends a lot of time practicing his happy baby pose. He has also started sucking on his two middle fingers, just the way I did as a wee one. How can a baby possibly sleep with such interesting distractions?! At night, he smiles while we tuck his arms in the swaddle and say "Good night, hanny! Good night, other hanny!" The word "hanny" has somehow become the most endearing word I know.
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While setting up the camera, slight malfunction of the baby!
Ferris's other obsession is trees. For those skeptics who don't know Manhattan (dad!), YES, we have trees here! He peers up and his eyebrows crunch with curiosity as he examines tree after tree. It's so amazing to think that one day his brain will fill with complex thoughts that run the range of human experience, but for now, it's simply, "TREE! TREE! TREE!"

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Ferris recently added 2 additional states to his list when we went to the midwest to show him off and attend a wedding. We have had excellent timing, since we missed the huge snowstorm last year and Hurricane Irene this year. On top of it, a well-timed yawn!
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While in Iowa, we visited Nick's 89 year old grandpa and were able to capture 4 generations of Caligiuri men together.
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Ferris also met his little big cousin Zoey! Here is an updated version of this double belly shot at 8 months and 4 months pregnant!
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Our little family at the wedding.
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It wouldn't be Iowa without the barn reststop! You'll notice that Ferris always finds it impossible to look toward the camera while I'm holding him.
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There is only one man who can possibly describe how it feels to be smothered in so many hugs and kisses in such a short time. That man, of course, is Ludacris.


 Tuesday was my first day back at work and yesterday was his first day at "school." As you can see, he's ready for our daily commute together with his mini MetroCard! And now we move on to a new stage in our lives, one that includes a baby as a part of our "normal" day.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

New England Road Trip

At long last, a travel post! (Which some of you may remember, is what we wrote about on this blog before Ferris hijacked it!)

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Travel journal, coming out of hibernation

We hit up a grand total of 6 states on our trip: New York (of course), Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. This means that little Ferris has been to more than 10% of the country already!

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Our first stop was Rhode Island, where we stopped at the Culinary Arts Museum. The Museum had a bunch of interesting and crazy things, but our personal favorite was the unlimited free Skee Ball machine. In New Hampshire, I stopped for a tour of the Zimmerman Frank Lloyd Wright house, which was fascinating. I wandered around the house with little protective booties covering my shoes while Nick and Ferris went on a little drive around town since NO KIDS ALLOWED! We have a kid!

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At long last, we reached Maine, which was our ultimate destination. We hung out in Portland, took a ferry to Peak's Island, walked around Kennebunkport (where the Bush family has an estate!) and went to an art fair.

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Portland Head Light

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Houses around Peak's Island and Kennebunkport
One night we went out for a nice dinner in Portland and ordered the lobster diavolo for two - it's a big skillet filled with lobster, clams, mussels, calamari and pasta. Ferris woke up halfway through and started to fuss. Nick, in his infinite wisdom, picked up a huge lobster claw and put it in front of his face, "HI, Ferris, I'm going to EAT YOU!" Maybe it was because I was making a rare journey through a bottle of wine, but it was hysterical. We had the tables around us laughing, smiling, and telling how great it was that we were getting out with our baby, so of course, we ate up the compliments with the diavolo.

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Lobster roll, Del's Lemonade, salt water taffy, whoopie pie
We spent our last full day in Kennebunkport, where we finally got to a beach and Ferris stuck his tiny toes in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. (Also the first time I ate 3 lobster rolls in a single day!) On the drive over, Ferris had a wee bit of an accident, so we walked around this charming town looking for a store that sold baby clothes and making up funny songs about F meeting the elder Bush with shit on his koalas. We not only found a onesie, but also a rad hat that makes people think he's a girl.

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A few more close ups of his dork ass hat.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Things that make me laugh

Ferris's faces....

Whenever I walk out of a room lately, I return to this focused look. Eyes crossed, lips pouty, fists discovered and on the verge of being understood.

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What? Why? Mine?
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I just realized my shirt says "hug me"... am I gonna get beat up?

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Enough with the pictures, woman!
Our naughty kitten...

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My fool husband...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Illusions

Our Ferris is two months old.
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Which means two months ago...
THIS
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photo by Melanie Rose
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photo by Melanie Rose
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photo by Melanie Rose
And two months before that....
THIS
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photos by Melanie Rose

AND NOW ...
Ferris is already so much stronger and interactive than the baby we just brought home (2 short months ago!) At his checkup our pediatrician exclaimed, "See how high he holds his head up? That's a 4 month move!" 
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Ferris will have to get used to the weight of his big brain!
I'm in the minority of moms, but I loved the first month- the month his nights were days and days were nights, the month he squinted in confusion at his aliveness, the month he was my little birdie. Over the past month, his confusion turned to recognition, the squint transformed into a curious gaze, and the primal connection we started out with has turned to love. 

Airplanes with mama
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Isn't it cute that he still sucks on his arm like the 1 week photo?
 Even when he gets a little fussy at night, he's so cute. When we swaddle him, he smiles, as if to thank us for getting his spastic limbs under control. Then in the morning, he stretches and smiles again when we help him finish busting outta the joint!
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Rare tears
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Two people who can barely draw a stick figure made this baby. If that's not a conclusive indicator that we don't have full control over our lives, I don't know what is. The process of becoming a parent has really pounded that lesson into my head. We try to convince ourselves that our lives are really ours. That we've earned the good things in our lives, that the differences in luck are a manifestation of karma. So many turns in my life have been so much better than I could've planned for myself... but it's still difficult to accept that I'm not really in control of my good fortune. That when I look to make sure he's breathing, there's nothing I'm doing to make it so. I can only be thankful.

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