Random Blog A Musing Farf

Sunday, March 22, 2009


For those folks who have wondered about the lack of blogging lately, all is well. Things are just very busy. In the last nine months, I have decided to make a career change and leave the law in order to become a doula, obtained my certification through DONA and actually started my own business, D is for Doula.

I have been blogging, although most of my blogging has been done at D is for Doula. So, while there will be occasional posts here on non-Mommy topics, if you would like to find me regularly, I invite you to check out DisforDoula.com

Thanks to everyone who was a regular reader of this blog. I really enjoyed being part of the community.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


In 1989 I started a new school. I was a freshman in high school and, while I could have enrolled in the local high school in the town in which I grew up, I ask made the decision to leave my friends behind and enroll in the Loomis Chaffee School.

I still remember the night before the first day of school very clearly. I could not sleep - the mix of nerves and excitement kept me awake – and I spent an inordinate amount of time deciding what my first day of school outfit should look like. Blue jeans were not allowed and I had no idea what the current fashion for a high schooler was (having never been one before). I remember thinking that the next 4 years would be defined by the outfit I chose. And, I still remember what I wore: a light blue skirt given to my by my cousin in exchange for writing one of his papers and a collared t-shirt. I am probably the only person who remembers that outfit.

When I arrived at school, I expected that everyone would be strangers to each other and was dismayed to discover that was not true. Instead, I found the cliques had formed and that people knew each other prior to the start of school. I met a girl named Cari (who 19 years later is still one of my best friends) and together, we navigated the perils of high school. At first, we formed a clique made up of people who had nothing in common other than the fact that they were not part of an already formed clique, but as people got to know each other, friendships faded, blossomed and changed.

By graduation, it was easy to forget who knew each other before school had started and who met in school. Instead of clinging to each other as we had in the early days, friendships were now based on common interests such as theater, sports, and mooning over cute boys. We had grown up together - learning how to deal with new and raw emotions and getting ready for life’s next steps. And, my senior year, I remember watching the freshman start school and go through what seemed like such as unique experience to me as a freshman.

Almost exactly 19 years after that first day of high school, I attended my first New Moms group. Meeting for 2 hours on Mondays, it was a support group for new moms in NYC and mostly a way to get out and meet other moms and spend some time talking to adults, as opposed to an infant. I have no idea what I wore to that meeting, but I spent an inordinate amount of time deciding how to dress my daughter. I remember thinking that my skills as a mother would be defined by the outfit I chose. Finally, after trying on several different onesies, I settled on one given to us by Cari. It was green with purple trim. I am probably the only person who remembers that outfit.

Just like in high school, when I arrived at the group, I expected that everyone would be strangers to each other and was dismayed to discover that was not true. Friends who had babies near in time to each other were attending and many in the group had been coming for several months and had become friends.

When I left the group, I called Cari to tell her how I had gone to the group, but had not met anyone with whom I felt a connection. She reminded me that, as the mother of an infant, just showering and getting out of the house was a triumph and that, more importantly, we had not met on the first day of school, but rather sometime in the second week. I had survived the first week alone.

So, I went back to the Moms’ group and also reached out to folks from my childbirth class. First there was Katy and then Sarah, and Caroline and Maria and Angela and others. At first I found people with whom I had nothing in common other than the fact that we were all first time moms with babies of a similar age. Six months later, friendships have faded, grown and changed and now, when we get together, the babies are not the only topic of conversation.

And, not so different from adolescence, the other new moms I have met have helped me make sense of the new and strange emotions I am experiencing. (It is nice to be reassured that I am not the only one who can no longer watch television shows involving sick and dying children without checking on the baby 40 times an hour). We bonded over husbands who don’t seem to hear the baby crying at 4am, laughed together when one of the baby boys projectile peed all over a strange woman at Lohemans and mourned together when we lost a member of our little clique.

Lat Monday, I went back to the Moms’ group. I had been going less often as Mondays have gotten busy and now that I have a great circle of friends, I don’t need the excuse to get out of the apartment or a pre-made group of adults for conversation. When I arrived, there were two women who mentioned they were attending for the first time. When I looked, I noticed how their babies outfits seemed meticulously planned and how they glanced from person to person, nervously looking for an excuse to talk to someone. And a way to break into what seemed like pre-established cliques.

Thinking back to how I felt that first day of high school, the first day at the Moms’ Group and thinking that not everyone is lucky enough to have a Cari in their lives to put everything in perspective, I simply walked up to them and asked how old their babies were. We spoke (mostly about the babies) for 30 miniutes and by the time I left the conversation, these women were exchanging emails addresses and phone numbers. I have no idea if they will remain friends, but it is nice to be the senior watching the freshman again.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Yesterday, I braved the long lines and was rewarded for my efforts. No, not the voting lines (those were actually moving pretty fast), but the free Starbucks I got for voting – that line was almost 20 minutes long!

Actually, I can afford to be glib about the election since the outcome was exactly as I had hoped. I woke up this morning feeling a bit different than I had the last few days and realized that, although I did not initially support Obama (I was a Hillary supporter),
I really bought into his message for hope and for the first time in a while, I was actually proud to be an American last night.

I am excited and proud to have this charismatic and inspirational person leading the country and really believe that he can change the perception of Americans abroad and undo the damage the Bush Administration has inflicted in the last eight years.

Husband and I went to the polls yesterday with the Baby and voted as a family. I even let the Baby pull the lever for me (although I am afraid she may be a closet Republican as she reached out for the McCain lever and I had to redirect her hand). So now, I am interested to see how Obama shapes the presidency and brings our country back from the ruins…

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I like to think that I am generally a good person. I actually enjoy helping others. In the last couple of weeks, I have donated breast milk to a woman who survived breast cancer and whose baby can not tolerate formula (I had tons of pumped milk from when I was eating dairy and beef, and it turns out that BG can not digest the bovine protein and my bovine protein-laden breast milk was making her sick). It was way better than throwing it away and I felt good to help. Then, I helped a blind man find his way on the subway and made arrangements to donate my old maternity clothes to a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Sadly, they have a real need for maternity clothes, which is a horrible thing to think about.

And yet, despite all my do-gooding, I feel like in the last week or so, Karma has not been on my side. First, my cell phone was stolen out of the stroller. Then the people who stole it attempted to hold it for $100 ransom. I actually was going to pay the ransom since I wanted the calendar and photos from the phone, but when I showed up at the appointed location to get my phone back, the people who stole it never showed up.

Then, I was supposed to meet with my old employer in order to work out the terms of my departure from the firm. Instead, I was ambushed with “issues” that they discovered in my work since I went on maternity leave and Evil Partner flatly refused to discuss the payout I was promised until the issues are resolved. (And, it looks like the only resolution that he will find acceptable is for me to tell them I engaged in unethical practices. While I may be guilty of a careless error and misfiling a piece of paper, there was no unethical conduct and I won’t admit to something I did not do!)

But hopefully, my week will start to improve. The shower repair guys showed up on time, a friend from prenatal yoga class had her baby and is meeting me for Mommy & Me and coffee afterwards and tonight I am seeing Hair. Sunday I have tickets to [Title of the Show] with Wuzi and, as Stitch pointed out, the people who stole my phone did not mug me when I tried to get the phone back.

So maybe I just need to help a few more needy folks and the work issues will be resolved.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I think I am finally getting into the swing of this motherhood thing. I have a group of new mom friends, BG is involved in all sorts of age appropriate classes to help her develop both intellectually and physically and, most importantly, we have a regular babysitter!

I posted a job ad with the Barnard Babysitting Services and got a response from a wonderful student. Babysitter came by today in order to meet me and BG and has tons of babysitting experience, including acting as a nanny last summer for her cousin’s newborn. I am spying on Babysitter right now as she pays with BG (the baby monitor has a video option) and she seems like she will do just fine. This means I can get out during the day and get my nails done, go to the gym and Husband and I can go out one Saturday per month and catch a movie, get dinner or just be baby-free. Babysitter is already booked on Wednesday morning so I can go get a manicure. To me, a nail salon is an inappropriate place for a baby – too many chemicals.

Or, at moments like this, I can sit down and blog knowing that BG is well cared for. And, even if Babysitter is not as good a caretaker as I am, well, that is okay as long as BG is happy and well cared for. And, right now, Babysitter is reading to BG –something I rarely have time to do during the day (although we do read two books every night and one in the morning at least).

Babysitter actually offered to stay for the entire afternoon gratis in order for me to feel comfortable with her and so she could get to know BG, but Evil Partner wants me to come in for an exit meeting (basically so he can yell at me one last time) and I want to bring BG so that if she cries, I have an excuse to cut the meeting short. Hahaha. I am already using my child for my own selfish needs.

Boo! Babysitter is leaving. So much for my free time….

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I never thought I would find fulfillment in staying home and raising my child, but more and more, it is what I think I want to do. Seeing BG smile is more rewarding to me than any bonus I have ever received and, despite my fears when she was born, I am not just sitting bored at home. We take classes where I meet other moms, we go for walks around the City and, even on those rainy days where the idea of leaving the house seems an impossible task, we manage to have a good time. And all of this has happened before she even learned to talk.

Then, I think about my own childhood and how my mother did not work outside the home. Instead, she worked on raising me and my siblings. And we all knew that if a homework assignment was accidentally left at home or we forgot to bring sneakers for gym class, we could count on Mother to save the day by arriving to school in her station wagon with whatever it was we needed. Or just the afternoons when we were home and we would chat about our days. I have a closeness with my mom (and so do my friends who had moms who were home with them) that I want to replicate with my own daughter.

Now, this is certainly not meant to belittle moms who want to work at outside careers. The thing I learned in my mere 11 weeks as a mom is that the best moms are those that are happy and content in their lives - whether because they have a life outside the kids or a career or not - and that everyone has to do what makes them happiest in life.

But, there is more to it. There is something I am loath to admit. Lately, when Husband comes home from work and the house is clean and dinner is cooking (or at least the take-in has been ordered) and the baby is quiet, I feel like I accomplished more than I felt like I accomplished at the office. What is even scarier to me (and harder to admit) is that I really like doing it. Going to BG's clothes, organizing them, arranging toys and packing up outgrown clothes is not fun. It is a chore and I recognize that. But, when Husband came home from work, I could not wait to show him what I had done. I was proud of myself. And I continue to be proud of myself for managing to vacuum the apartment, finishing the laundry or sewing a town pair of shorts.

Part of me worries that I am backsliding and falling into the the gender stereotypes of the 1950's, but in reality I know this is not true. Husband assumed childcare duties last night so I could have dinner and a drink with a girlfriend and, while I do the bulk of childcare even on nights and weekends, Husband definitely takes an active role and helps me considerably.

And then there is the practical side of me: I have thousands of dollars in law school debt, Husband and I have a mortgage, we need to eat and occasionally, we like to go to the movies. This all takes money and my income certainly helps with that. But then again, my old salary was barely more than it would cost to pay for childcare. But, as I have written before when contemplating this topic, theoretically, my salary would go up as childcare costs go down.

Husband, ever the practical one, thinks my going back to work is the right decision. But maybe, just maybe I can convince him otherwise. I wonder if it would help if I made a cherry pie first.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


One day, I fully expect Baby Girl to ask me where she came from. When that time comes, I hope to have an honest and forthright conversation with her - to the best she can understand - and fill in gaps in knowledge as she can process them. (No child of mine will believe you can't get pregnant the first time!) But, in the meantime, I sit and wonder where this little angel came from.

So much of this baby looks familiar: She has her father's expressions, sleeps in the same position as her uncle and Pops, has fingers that look like mine and the long eyelashes of both her father and me. But so much is unaccounted for: the olive colored skin that almost everyone remarks upon, her grey eyes and the Mongolian Blue spot.

It's weird. As I sit now and watch her nap (so much for my attempt to go to Mommy and Me yoga today), I have started to become curious about my family tree. According to Wikipedia and other sites, the incidence of a Mongolian Blue Spot is a minor skin blemish that disappears around puberty and while is is present in almost all babies of East Asian heritage*, is almost non-existent among Caucasians - except for those of Hungarian descent. Apparently the Hungarians mingled with the Hun population and therefore Hungarians tend to have these spots. The incidence among Hungarian Jews is even higher than that of the rest of the Hungarian population. Apparently, we are a horny people.

My maternal grandmother is Hungarian. When asked, she swore that we are 100% Jewish and that as far as she knows, no one in her family ever married someone of East Asian Descent. when I asked her if perhaps there was a non-marital dalliance with one of her ancestors and as East Asian, she giggled. She really liked the idea. Like I said, we are a horny people.

So, that mystery is solved. Whew, when I saw the spot, all sorts of crazy ideas ran through my head - she is developing back and blue marks (someone hurt her), she is sick, the hospital gave us the wrong baby (not like we were giving her back though!) and other insane ideas too embarrassing to be mentioned here.

Now to figure out where she got that lovely skin color and those grey eyes.

*Chinese believe that if you are reluctant to be reincarnated, the King of Hell prods and kicks you until you agree to go and that causes the spot. Husband's cousin told me that when they baby smiles in her sleep, she is reliving her past lives and shutting the doors in order to more fully live this life. The more she smiles, the happier her past life. Baby Girl smiles all the time when she sleeps, so I like the idea that she was so happy in her last life that she was a little reluctant for another go around.