From the monthly archives:

May 2011

Your 1st birthday party!

by Milton on Mon, May 16th, 2011

in Letters to baby,Year 1

Dear Axelrod,

Here are some pictures from your 1st birthday party yesterday:

I have to say, I am feeling rather overwhelmed with love and gratitude for you, Esther, and the group of friends and family who celebrated your 1st birthday today (whether they could make it to our rainy house or not). I mean, really, the universe dealt you some pretty dang amazing cards when it comes to the people who love you right off the bat without even having to do much yet.

And then you went ahead and took your first real solid steps and sealed the deal. At your own party. Well played!

Of course, the cheering scared you so much that you crumpled into a ball and started crying, but I think that’s just because you can’t quite tell the difference between people cheering FOR you and people jeering AT you. I promise it was the former. We all are quite taken with your every step, literally.

You got a cape with the first letter of your name on it, which you should never take off.

You got a ukulele. And Jenny helped tune it and play you the first dozen or so lovely songs on it. I have some uke practice cut out for me.

You hung out with your baby friends Owen, and Lilia, and Tavi. They are gonna give you a run for your cute money, you better watch your back.

And one of the most amazing gifts of the day was from your urban family member Carinna, who compiled all the letters we wrote to you before you were born, and all the letters your urban family members wrote to you at Esther’s baby shower for you. It’s a lovely book filled with love for you, and it brought tears to our eyes to read the things within.

Here’s to a long tradition of letters to you from the people who love you.


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Happy Birthday, Baby!

by Esther on Sat, May 14th, 2011

in Baby,Challenges,Documentation,Sleep,Year 1

One year ago tonight I went to a burlesque show with great hope of finding some loving, sexy energy that would slide my baby out from his comfortable nest within.  My water broke during intermission.

One year ago tomorrow, I became a mother.  I’m sad to report that I haven’t been to a single burlesque show (or show in general) since.  I am happy to report the following:

Axelrod has been with us for a year.  He is amazing.  He is sweet and hilarious.  He, like the other people I am attracted to and love, is already somewhat complicated and layered.  He somehow manages to embody the adjectives slow, easy, feeling, introspective and observant while also being silly, stubborn, persistent, curious, and happy.

Today, while I sat and typed a gratuitous email on my iPhone, Niko cruised around our coffee table with a crumpled dollar in his hand.  Trying to get my attention, proud of his acquisition, he waved to me.  I smiled and continued to type while watching him from my periphery.   He reached the end of the coffee table, grinning, and took three steps towards me.  These are his first multiple steps!  He did them without any encouragement.  It is so like him to wait until we don’t expect him to do something, then get right into it.  He laughed, we laughed.  We all knew we were having a moment.

To prepare for those three steps, his sleep has been difficult lately. When I say “difficult,” I mean to the tune of hourly + wakings a night.  Every 2 hours, I seem to be able to handle.  Every hour?  Not so easily.  It is a testament to how awesome this kid is when I tell you that we continue to survive and continue to laugh with him for the majority of our day.  We trust that his second year will bring more rest to the whole family.

This year, I have learned so much.  I don’t know how to put it all into words.  I am practicing patience.  I am navigating the wilds of marriage with new added richness and responsibility.  I am learning, through my child, how to be more authentic and true to myself.  I am learning how to forget about an afternoon of stress and, instead, just go to the playground!  I am learning to let go, while holding together so much.

I never knew my heart could be so full.  I never knew that the simplest children’s books could make me cry so much.  I never knew how much one very small person could change my life.  I never knew that hard work could be so gratifying, or that something so gratifying could be so difficult.  I never really understood how much being a parent could change me; I realize that no one could ever know.

Obviously, I am so glad that we decided to walk down this road.  I love my little family, utterly, and can not imagine my life without this husband or baby.  I am so thankful to have both of those spirits in my life.  I feel totally fortunate.  Even in my darkest, most resentful moments (believe me, I’ve had many), I feel grateful.

Thanks so much to all of you for following us along on this journey.  And!


Happy Birthday, Axelrod!



by Esther on Thu, May 5th, 2011

in Baby,Documentation

We’ve just come from the most lovely weekend in Northern California.  We three headed down to San Francisco to attend the wedding of a a dear friend.  On Tuesday, we drove up north to see one of my best old friends from high school and her lovely little family.

There was lots of wine, dressing up, and laughing so hard that my jaw hurt.  Our little guy had a sitter for 3 nights in a row and made sure to let us know as we left on the third night that it was NOT OK (we made it up to him later, I swear).  We got to see friends that we have been missing for ages.  We got to relax a bit and remember who we are, away from the lists and chugging every-day responsibilities.

I was able to meditate on what I need to work on creatively in order to feel as if I’m being the best possible expression of myself.  This last difficult (and still sleepless) winter has been hard on my body and mind.  I have honestly been feeling stagnated and stressed.  Prior to our short trip away, I had already been wondering about how to challenge myself to rise again to the occasion of celebrating life.

And then a little something happened…. Or, well, many MANY little somethings happened… but one thing in particular happened that made me think of this blog, what it means to me, and what might be done with it.

After a Monday night of drinking a fabulous amount of wine with some old friends, I returned to my friend Myrtle’s fancy hotel room (girlfriend works in the industry) with Axelrod at about 1am (he had been sleeping at our friends’ house prior!).  Between 1am and 7, kiddo nursed 4 times.  I’m sure that this was punishment for the three nights of sitters, but it’s always something with him, anyway.  Anyhow this is all just to illustrate to you how very EXHAUSTED and somewhat hung over I was.

Seriously, people.  I was straight up grumpy.  We met Milton at a cafe and grunted our way through some pancakes, coffee and oatmeal.  In the middle of our meal, a lady with a gorgeous baby stopped over to our table and asked if I had a blog.  I do, I told her, and thought to myself In fact, I have 3 blogs that I have completely ignored for the last 8 months.  She knew this blog in particular, which is the blog that is about my most wonderful and prized life happening, and she said that she had followed our story.  Well that just blew me right out of grumpytown and made me feel awesome.  It also convinced me that I should come back here and hash out some thoughts about my most wonderful and prized life happening from time to time.

So!  Hi!  Parenthood has this remarkable ability to make the sweetest time pass so quickly.  It’s as if I can hardly get a grip on how temporary everything is.  Every little thing my son does is just one moment in time until he does something else.  Every day he changes under my close observation.  Every day is magic, of course, even when it’s difficult.  Which, to be honest, it often is.

Our guy talks like a chatterbox these days.  He says Mama, Go, NO, Dog, and Cat.  He yells at balls.  He sometimes takes a step, but hasn’t walked yet.  He is still not a good sleeper at all, but I do feel as if we are making VERY SLOW progress.  He is persistent, hilarious, fat as all give out, sweet, cuddly, and just loves to kiss and hug every other kid he can get his hands around.  He’s a hilarious dancer and seems to be composing complicated symphonies with his hands at all times (see above photo).  We love him, completely.

He will be one year old in 1.5 weeks.  Holy moley.