About a week ago, Lukasz and I decided to leave city life behind and get outside, if only for one day. As I have previously mentioned, we had a 5 day camping trip planned but it fell through when we found out that there was going to be rain and thunder in the area. While, usually, that seems like the recipe for a fun adventure at a lake, I wasn’t about to take that chance with my two month old precious cargo in tow.
A lot of people don’t realize this about New York City but, we actually live really close to a lot of fun day trips that lets you explore the great outdoors. Even Lake George is just a few hours away. On this particular day, we chose to head to Rockefeller State Park in New Jersey. It wasn’t crazy mountains or anything, but it was nice to get out of the city and get a little fresh air. It was nice to see cute squirrels and chipmunks as opposed to the usual subway rats. One thing I can definitely do without is the summer bugs and ticks but it’s all a compromise, I suppose.
Another unexpected encounter was the rain! We had barely started our walk around the lake when a thunderstorm hit. The trees definitely made it less wet as were standing under their canopy but it was coming down fast. We all actually loved it, including Petra who sat in her stroller looking in a amazement at the water falling from the sky. Its really fun to experience moments like that with my little family. Sometimes things aren’t perfect and you just have to make do. The rain did make the park incredibly humid so we hung around a little after the rain stopped before we called it a day and drove back. It’s a good thing we did too because we stopped on the side of the road on our way back so Petra could eat and it started pouring even more than when we were at the park. It was fun to sit in the car and watch the rain fall, like we were in our own little bubble.
This week, like all weeks now, has flown by. Its so funny how time goes by so quickly when you have a baby that doesn’t leave your sight. I’m literally trying to tie up loose ends as my maternity leave comes to an end and as you can guess, I am riddled with all the anxiety. But nevertheless, I am trying to remain positive and am definitely feeling thankful that the weekend is here! Here are some things that made me smile this past week.
Theresa May’s Hubby Steals the Show: With Theresa May being named Britain’s new Prime Minister and the second woman who has ever held this title, I was absolutely giddy when the focus fell on her husband and his style as he started his life as Britain’s “first man”.
Jennifer Aniston’s Post: Jennifer Aniston’s editorial on how the media scrutinizes women was everything. She’s so honest and direct and I loved it because the media has been hounding this girl down for years always speculating if she’s pregnant. WHO CARES. And she made some serious points women not always needing to be married or have children. Let’s decide those things for ourselves.
Snoop Dog and The Game Lead Peaceful Protest: With all the news lately, it just seems like this world is falling apart. It scares me to my core to think about the kind of world Petra is going to be living in and it saddens me so much to hear about the struggles that so many people are facing. That’s why this article and video of a peaceful protest totally made my week. I won’t elaborate on anything else, just read and listen.
The Evolution of Maternity Style: This article randomly popped up on my Facebook news feed and it was dated a few weeks back so I’m a little late to the party but this is fascinating. I have always wondered how people dressed if they were pregnant back in the day. Like really far back in the day. So crazy to see what has changed.
Beach House, the band: This isn’t exactly news but gosh, I just love this band. I’ve been really into them lately. Victoria Legrand’s voice just kiiiiiills me, its so beautiful. I also received a record player for my birthday so I’ve been busting out my old Beach House records to have a listen. Here’s a playlist on Apple Music of the best Beach House songs.
It finally happened, my 28th birthday came and went. I don’t feel 28, I don’t feel older than, like, 21. Are there people out there that feel that way too? Just a perpetual child in a body that’s growing older? I don’t mind getting older either. They say you’re supposed to be wiser too.
I had a really good day! Originally, Lukasz and I had planned to take Petra on her first camping trip but our plans fell through when we realized it would be raining all weekend at Lake George. Breastfeeding a two-month old baby in a two-person tent because of thunder and rain? Pass. Luckily, we live in the greatest city in the world so theres always something to do. That’s actually one of the things I’m really excited to explore with Little Petra: just how much this city has to offer in terms of entertainment and food and culture and just everything. We decided to hit up the Museum of Natural History and maybe go some place for dinner after on the Upper West Side. And Tatiana and Todd had the day off, so it was basically a party. 🙂
But here’s the thing, have you ever spent a whole day out with a 2 month old? After getting on the second train to take us uptown, Petra decided that some more milk was in order and it could not wait. So after a pit stop in Central Park for a quick lunch for our baby girl (read: Breastfeeding in the park), we were back on track headed towards the museum. Here’s a pro-tip: Never do anything in NYC on the weekends. Kidding! But not really. I kind of forget how crowded everything is on the weekends and the museum was no exception. Petra slept a little bit and we wandered the exhibits. I always forget how big that place is going in. There was so much to see and so many floors and so little time and so many people.
And for dinner, we hit up Jacobs Pickles. It was our first time trying it and it was AMAZING. Everything, their pickles and biscuits and fries, etc was super delicious. We even got lucky and sat outside and they accommodated the stroller next to us. I’m definitely keeping this place in mind for future dinners because it was kid-friendly and the food was great. That’s one of the things I love about the Upper West Side, how family friendly the neighborhood is.
Half of these pictures were courtesy of Tatiana. I could have sworn I got more but I guess I was too busy having fun, haha. All in all, taking Petra out for a full day was a little scary to think about but everything turned out great. When we got home, we were exhausted and sleepy and happy. It was honestly the best low-key way to spend my birthday and I loved every second with my little family and friends. What a great way to start Year 28!
“When my baby came out of me, I went into mourning. I mourned my selfishness, my old life, my cute body—but I also mourned her. How perfectly safe and endless she was before I brought her into the world, maybe before she was even conceived. The hopes I had for her. The perfect life I had imagined. All of that was protected before. And now she was human. Exposed, vulnerable, and suffering.” -Jemima Kirke writes in Time, October 2015
If there is one thing that no one told me about giving birth or becoming a mother, it was the complexity of emotions I would definitely feel. This overwhelming feeling of love and need to protect this little baby that came into this world. And more than that, the fear that I wouldn’t always be there to protect her and at some point in her lifetime, I would have to let go and watch her make her own decisions and become her own person without me standing in the way, despite my wishes for her. It’s overwhelming to even think about. For the most part, I try to take things one day at a time.
It’s bittersweet, stepping into this new role. You say goodbye to your old life and your old freedom. Some days I feel selfish for missing it. And some days I look at my daughter and realize that there are bigger things here than the ability to step out whenever I want to get a manicure. Some days I remind myself that I’m raising my own little best friend. Manicures and drinks can wait.
Im not going to lie and say there haven’t been moments of loneliness. So, I’m thankful for the quote above and for women that can explain the process and emotion of becoming a mother better than I can. It helps to know that my I’m not alone in this journey. It helps to know that maybe I shouldn’t beat myself up for feeling that way. And it helps to know that I’m so lucky to have this experience. I couldn’t have put my feelings into words any better.