Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Yes, it's big.

So number four on my list of things I do not enjoy is the unwelcome advice and comments one tends to receive while pregnant. Sometimes these comments are well-meaning and sometimes they are just rude. For instance, when I was 14 weeks pregnant with Shira a woman came up to me in synagogue and asked if I was that “overdue pregnant woman” someone had told her about. Translation: “I heard someone was overdue and since you’re pregnant and enormous, it must be you!” 14 weeks pregnant, people. Yes, I had a bump already, but was she really mistaking me for a pregnant woman of 41 weeks? (In an unpleasant follow-up, a few weeks ago, just four months after giving birth, I ran into this woman again. The first thing she did was crane her neck to look at my stomach and asked: “you’re not pregnant again, are you?” Evidently she didn’t get the memo that not every mother is back in shape in four months--and I wasn’t skinny before I got pregnant--or the memo that told her to keep her mouth shut).

All of this is long way to introduce an essay that my wise, pregnant friend, Sheena wrote this week. I’m thinking of sending a few hundred copies to this woman I know.

Tonight’s post is dedicated to all those enormous, beautiful pregnant bellies.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This is my sweet husband. I met Matt in graduate school, and I knew something was special the day he came into class (I think the topic was Kant) and attempted to sell an old pair of his shoes to our professor. The professor didn’t enjoy his humor, but somehow I did. This convinced Matt that he was funny and so he continues to make bad jokes, and I continue to laugh against my better judgment. I might just be the luckiest girl in the world.

Together we made Alyce. She’s the one also laughing at his jokes. She’s two and certainly one of my favourite people of all time. She loves to look after her monsters and purple is her most favourite, special colour. Like her father, she laughs a lot. I enjoy her.

Our family grew in May when Shira Clementine was born. In the four months we have spent together I have learned that she really enjoys to eat (preferably all the time) and has the most delightful perspective on life. The smiles. They are killing me.

Next to Shira is me. You’ll hear far too much about me if you’re not careful. But to get this started, here is a list (see number 4) of things I enjoy:

1. Alyce's singing
2. Toast
3. Cooking with a glass of wine in hand
4. Making lists
5. Reading recipes
6. The way Matt grins when I've been talking non-stop
7. Shabbat dinners
8. Shira's big bum in her cloth diapers
9. Birthdays. Mine and yours.
10. Various cheeses

Things I do not enjoy:

1. Burning my arms on the cookie sheet
2. My tendency to be anxious
3. Sweating in the heat far too many months of the year
4. That thing that makes strangers offer advice when they notice you are pregnant or breastfeeding or involved in parenting of any kind. Really? Just stop.

Finally. The cats. Most days, three cats are too many. Even still, we love them: Hille thinks Pomegranate is his mother (which he’s not), while Lucy rules over them both. I would offer them to you, but then I’d miss them.

Monday, September 27, 2010

And here I begin.

Here I am. My name is Danielle and this is my blog.

I’m a little surprised to be here. I’ve daydreamed imaginary posts for a couple of years now but what I didn’t imagine was actually writing something down, especially not something that I would post for the world to see (all four of you). In my imagination I stand tall and declare my charming and enlightening thoughts on being a parent, successfully writing my dissertation, and mastery in the kitchen. I wonder how that’s going to turn out for me. Not to worry. I hope this will be much more interesting. If I come out right from the start and admit that I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing, this just might work. Fingers crossed.

Most days I win. Most days I wake up with my husband and my two ridiculously adorable little girls and I win. On the best days I laugh a lot, learn some, accomplish a needed task, and go to bed feeling a little closer to the person I want to be. Most days I enjoy my girls so much I don’t know how other people go about their day not knowing them. Most days I spend much-needed time by myself cooking something delicious and enjoy eating it with people I love. Some days I just know what I want to do with my life. It will be great, I think, when I finish my dissertation! I’ll get a job! I’ll love it! Look at me!

Some days this doesn’t happen. Some days I wonder if people notice how impatient I’m feeling with my little girl. Some days I faithfully follow a recipe (usually a really big one, that serves one thousand people) only to realize that it tastes horrible. I didn’t roast something correctly, or I mistakenly skipped a step, and now I’m left with all this wasted food. Or I cook something fantastic and there isn’t anyone around who wants to share it with me. Some days--a lot of days, actually--I don’t want to write my dissertation. I don’t want to be a professor. I want something else. But I’m just afraid to say it out loud.

Most days I win, though, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.