It’s been three years since Elijah died. Elijah was my first cousin, born three months after me. I got the call during our annual family vacation to Maine – nobody could reach us, since the cell phone reception there is so spotty. We packed up immediately and drove the six hours or so back to Rhode Island. It’s a surreal and shocking memory – did it really happen? Sometimes it just seems like an impossible mixup.
I haven’t done a lot of nail art lately. With a newborn, it was completely impossible and I rocked bare nails for ages. Now that he’s older I find that there is more time – but not that much time. I wore gel polish for quite a while, but I found that I can’t ever really get two weeks of wear time. Early in July, I saw The Daily Nail post about a dip powder system from Red Carpet Nails (that was ON SALE) and I immediately rushed out to buy it. I didn’t learn how to do dipped nails in nail school. Although they’re not at all new, they’re really popular these days and I wanted to try it out. With the claim that they wear for THREE WEEKS, this seemed like the perfect nail solution for me.
A few days from now will mark an entire year since you were born. My mind can hardly fathom how this year has already gone by; your newborn days were so long and I was so tired, but now it seems like the days and months speed by and catch me, totally unprepared. I’m in awe of the person you are becoming, of your development and personality. Though this birthday won’t mean anything to you, it means a lot to me.
One of my best gal-pals in college had a long standing birthday tradition. Every year, she wrote a letter to herself, to be opened on her birthday next year. She would read last year’s letter, reflect on the year, and write the letter to her next year self. I really love birthdays – much more than New Years, it seems like such a perfect opportunity to reflect on the year. It’s a day all about you (which is funny, if you think about it, given that it was a huge day in the life of the person who birthed you).
Every so often I get an urge. This urge tells me, “try something new!” which usually means do something to my hair, though occasionally this urge manifests as a desire to pierce my ears or try different makeup. I don’t know why I feel this way, sometimes I just want to shake things up! Back in April, after going for many months without cutting my hair at all, and over a year without coloring it, I went all out with a rainbow theme. The rainbow faded, and so I went with a peacock/jewel-toned color range. Hair urges aside, my trip to the salon reminded me of my mom.
I have taken approximately a bajillion sorting hat quizzes online, and I’ve always cheated. It’s obvious which answers will put you in Gryffindor, so I’ve always selected the most Gryffindorish answers. After a lot of careful thought, if I’m being honest I have to admit that I’m probably actually in Ravenclaw – although Harry Potter, himself, was able to convince the sorting hat that he belonged in Gryffindor, so who knows.
I’m a few years older than the gang at Hogwarts, but I feel like I grew up with Harry Potter. The world celebrated the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (my American edition was the “Sorcerer’s Stone”) this week, and I’ve been reflecting on just how much Harry Potter has meant in my life. Spoiler: it’s meant a lot, and I’m feeling nostalgic.
There are days when I don’t leave my house, other than to pick up the baby from daycare; before Eli was born, there were days I didn’t leave the house at all. Working from home can sometimes feel lonely and isolating. Add to that the early mornings (Eli, seriously, please sleep!), it’s easy to feel like a greasy slob. Even before I started working again, the one thing I prioritized for myself was a hot shower. It’s taken months, but I finally feel that I am emerging from the haze of new-parenthood. Obviously, part of that haze was due to sleep deprivation; part of it we owe thanks to postpartum depression and anxiety; but I also think that fog stems from feeling so unlike myself. It’s disorienting when everything feels different.
Pregnancy is weird. I’ve never felt particularly in control of my body, but pregnancy amplified that sensation; suddenly, it seemed that my body was doing all sorts of things I had no idea it could do, all on its own. Although I found pregnancy to be difficult and uncomfortable, I couldn’t stop admiring my body. While it may be cliche to reference “the miracle of life,” pregnancy really is amazing. For the first time, I loved my belly. Pregnancy allowed me to have a big round belly that was deemed acceptable. I suddenly found myself wearing ruched shirts that highlighted my belly, a far cry from my normal fashion. The bigger my belly got, the more I loved it. I photographed it every week and used an app to compare the size of my baby to a fruit or vegetable.
lamp plants. Homes with plants in every nook and cranny always seem so vibrant and bright; you know those houses where there’s a giant fern in the corner, and orchids on the counter, and herbs growing in a box by the window? I want. However, I always thought this dream was an impossibility. You see, I am an indoor plant killer. It’s mostly because I am inconsistent and forgetful, and I don’t water enough or then I water too much because I get excited, or I put plants in direct sunlight and they burn up. Plus, my lovely husband melts in sunlight. Maybe that’s not exactly fair, but bright light gives him migraines. Anyways, I have never successfully cultivated the kind of house plant ecosystem that I crave.
Of all the Friends, I’ve always identified most with Phoebe. That may be controversial, but she’s just so kooky, sincere, and fun. [aside: I want to let you know that I have serious problems with the show, most notably that 1) I really hate the whole plot line of “Monica used to be fat and now she’s not and look how hot she is and isn’t it funny that she was such a cow?” 2) Stop making gay jokes. No, seriously, it’s not funny. 3) HOW do they afford these apartments?] Anyways. Back to Phoebe. Phoebe is her own self. She runs like nobody’s watching, and she wears scrunchies, and she looks like everybody’s eccentric, funky aunt. That’s how I want to look. Kooky and fun.