Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas in photos

We spent the holiday on Long Island with Matt's aunt and uncle.
It's beautiful there and here we are walking on the beach at Sagamore Hill National Park, aka Teddy Roosevelt's former digs.  The walk was lovely except I had to go to the bathroom (but what else is new?). 

Here is Matt's uncle Joel with Annie.
Joel looks lovely, although Annie is showing some major 'tude.
(Also displayed in the first photo.)
(To her credit it was quite chilly.)

Annie was obsessed with poor Penelope, and often tugged at her tail and ears.

Here's Granny Nanny (Matt's mom) showing her how to pet her gently.
Annie is all, "What?  Me pull the cat's ears?!  It's insulting you would even think that!"
Then she pulled them anyway. (of course)

Here is Matt and Annie on Christmas Eve as we're about to go into our hotel for the night.
It started flurrying, which I thought was magical.  Annie was over it, though.
Snow smow, she seemed to say.  It's late and I want my bottle, people!

One of the few photos I got of Annie in her Christmas morning ensemble.  We got everything from Goodwill/on consignment, which is good, as she wore it for about two hours tops.  Poor thing looks somber as can be, but I can assure you she had a really fun holiday and was active and giddy most of the time.

"Why is everyone so excited?!"
From the left: Matt's Aunt Debbie, cousin Julia, Uncle and Aunt Dave and Cyndy, and poor Laura,
who is cut off (sorry Laura!)

We had our big Christmas dinner on Sunday evening, as the whole gang was there, and then on Christmas Day went into Manhattan.  Here is Annie bundled up in her stroller.

And some of the gang at the tree in Rockefeller Plaza.

With dad and Poppy Hoppy on a carousel in Bryant Park.

Matt: "Wave, Annie!"
Annie: No.

City girl.

Matt and Annie.

Such is the life:
girl woke up one block away from the Chinese place where we ate dinner.
Obviously, she knows what is important in life.

"Now, let's see what the specials are today."

"I'd like some tea, too.  You can put it in the sippy cup, Poppy Hoppy."

After-dinner aperitif.

Us at Rockefeller Plaza's Christmas tree.   I love this shot.

My father got Annie a rocking horse, much like the ponies we see while vacationing in Chincoteague.
She's still a bit scared of it.  Here she is looking...uh... ambivalent.  

Today it started snowing, and we took to the neighborhood for a little walk.  Here is Matt and Annie in front of the house.  (Four hours later it's still coming down!)

And me.

And our doggie daughter, Penny.
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, friends!  I'm writing this is a dark hotel room on the North shore of Long Island as Annie naps.  She's a good traveler and has taken to her Pack 'n' Play like a champ.  In a bit we're heading over to Matt's aunt and uncle's with the rest of his family for lunch and a mid-day hike.  

Speaking of Christmas, a large package (which I believe Matt had shipped to his work) showed up in our car among the wrapped presents the other day as we headed up to my parents' place.  It's addressed to Annie and upon asking him about it, he said, "Oh yeah, I got Annie something," with no further explanation, although adding, "Don't worry; I'll say it's from both of us."    Um, thanks.  Boyfriend went out and bought his little girl a gift and refuses to tell me what it is!  Suck up.  I find this whole thing very suspicious.  And irksome.  Particularly because I didn't really get the kid anything - she's a year old!  Girl doesn't know Santa from the Easter Bunny.

Anyway, at the hotel's continental breakfast this morning Matt and I met a man who lost much of his home to Hurricane Sandy and FEMA has put him up in these temp digs since then.  Describing the mountains of paperwork, red tape and formalities to get his house back in order (fortunately their home wasn't condemned, but the first floor had to be entirely gutted) made me - even further - realize how fortunate I am.  Cheesy, I know.  But it was a beautiful little reminder from a stranger on Christmas Eve.

Much love to you and yours this holiday season,
Kathryn, Matt, Annie, and Penny (who I'm sure is enjoying a swanky doggie spa-like day at my parents, complete with gourmet food, lots of doggie treats, and river walks)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Meaningful action

There’s nothing more to write on Newtown that others haven’t already (and so beautifully, too) said – like these words and thisI will say we live very near to an expo center in the Philadelphia area – and drive by it regularly to go to Target, or the grocery store, or wherever – and they had a gun show this past weekend.   They have shows for everything: Western pottery, quilts, outlet sales for Lilly Pulitzer or Boden, reptile shows, the national dog show films there, and so on and so on.  I actually go twice a year to a children’s consignment sale where I purchase the bulk of Annie’s clothes.  So having a gun show was nothing new – we’ve seen the signs for them in the past – but the lines, the gridlock to get in, the sheer volume of men – was very real, and very unnerving.  I have never – in the five years I’ve lived here – seen crowds like that.   Our gun culture is very real and also very frightening.  

As a mother – and like any parent, or any American, or, really, anyone – I feel like I have been punched in the gut and have yet to exhale.  I’m sure you feel it too.

I couldn’t get an early train out of the city on Friday and when I finally picked Annie up, I drove home with mascara tears, saying, “I’m crying because I love you.  I’m crying because I’m so happy to see you.  Please don’t be scared, I’m sorry, your mommy is just sad.  Something very bad happened today but you are OK and I am OK and daddy is OK too,” and then, a peppy squeak of, “Now, what do you want for dinner!?”  Annie may have been asleep, or just tired, or just a quiet almost 13-month-old who can only say “dog”, “hi”, and “bye”, but of course she was silent as we drove through Valley Forge Park on our way home.

So, here we are.  It’s Tuesday and it was a fine day: I just finished a big sweet potato pound cake cupcake (heavenly) left from a lunch I threw for our interns.  Workloads are winding down in anticipation of the holidays.  I took next week off.  Matt and I carpooled today so I’m getting picked-up at the train by him and Annie – my Corolla chariot.  But I can’t quite reconcile this ordinary day and feeling so very helpless.  And hopeless.

I suppose I wrote a lot for not wanting to write about what happened this past Friday.  But that horror is deep in my veins.  I am not a religious person – but I want to have faith – so I whispered my meager thoughts of hope and healing and wished them to the heavens.  Then I looked at my little girl – my shimmering star burst, my light – and said we need to do better.  We need to do right by them.


To add your name urging Congress to introduce gun control legislation, please visit the White House’s “We the People” site.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Unspeakable acts

I’m writing this at my desk at work.  I am a 40-minute train ride away from Annie and it’s too much.  Like everyone else I just learned about the elementary school shooting in Connecticut, and like everyone else I’m sitting at my desk finding it hard to breathe, think, move.

Perhaps today is not the time, but tomorrow?  Tomorrow we need to finally start a vigorous discussion of mental healthcare reform and, above all, gun control.  When is it enough?  Those children deserve at least that.

My deepest, deepest sympathies, thoughts, and prayers to all the families.  How horribly unspeakable.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Baby cashmere and other ridiculous thoughts

Some thoughts:

1)      “Baby’s first cashmere!”  This was the subject line of an email I received from the Gap.  I have a soft-spot for Baby Gap, lord help me.  Their clothes are sweet but never too cutesy, girly but never too babyish, and just all-around covetable, but you know Mama K isn’t about to lay down $35 on a baby sweater (those are the cotton ones).  Oh hells no!  And now this – cashmere?!?!  I don’t even own cashmere.  Look, if they don’t sell it at Target I probably don’t own it.

A baby primer of sorts (for babies of a certain echelon only, of course):
Isn't this J.Crew baby sweater just darling?
By the way, it's cashmere.
Oh, and $145.
And your baby will get spaghetti all over it and outgrow it within six months.
But first-world problems, right?!
Ok, ok, let's do something a bit we say..."for the masses":

That's better.
This is from the Gap.  This sweet number is indeed cashmere.
All babies need cashmere for their baby-soft skin, silly.
(That goes without saying.)
It's 88 bucks.
I get a little tense even typing that.  $88 and "baby sweater" do not belong together.

2)      Speaking of fancy sweaters, Matt has been prancing around saying, “You know, I wear things from Neiman Marcus...basically I wear that stuff when I can’t get to Bergdorf.”  He knows nothing about these stores, but the other week a friend and I gave him the run-down on the department store hierarchy.  So now he thinks he’s very hoity-toity, because the boy found a Neiman Marcus sweater at the Goodwill and plans on tailoring it.  It’s his new thing; finding ill-fitting clothing and making them his own.  It could be worse, I suppose, but he is still eyeing up my clothes and you know I’m not pleased.

3)      He also decided he wants to knit.  So he bought knitting supplies at Michael’s and now knits watching TV.  He is making a burnt orange scarf.  I feel like I’m married to a granny: he’s either at the sewing machine or knitting.  Come to think of it, he was complaining of impending “arthritis” when he was giving me a back rub the other day, too.

4)      Annie has ringworm.  People freak out when I say that, but what can you do.  She’s on oral meds and a topical treatment and she does not care one iota.  Just give me my scrambled eggs and bread and I’m happy, she says.

5)      Which brings us to the fact that she NEVER EATS HER VEGETABLES ANYMORE.  She only wants bread, eggs, some fruit, occasionally some meat, cheese, sometimes yogurt or cottage cheese, and that’s it.  Oh, and graham crackers (it was a mistake to introduce her to those.)  If she spots a box of graham crackers her eyebrows raise and screeching begins.  Babies.

6)      So I’ve been hearing sounds from the wall between our kitchen and living room for weeks now.  I didn’t even really realize this until I heard it the other day and it finally clicked and Matt heard it this time and I screeched, “THERE IS A RAT IN OUR WALL!”  But every time we go to the store we forget to get bait or traps or whatever it is you get, so the rodent-thing is still there, which is lovely.

Happy Wednesday, all!  Now go out and treat yourself to a baby sweater.  Or, better yet, this luxurious baby blanket (in cashmere of course...ALWAYS in cashmere, you fools):

I'd like to add that although it's $228, it automatically comes with free shipping.
It goes without saying what a bargain that is.