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SoHo Morning

Posted on: Wednesday

Lately, it seems as if everyone keeps asking me the same new-parent question: Do you get ANY sleep with a baby (especially co-sleeping, as we've chosen to do). And the answer is: In a way. In a way, we get all the sleep we need. It's a different kind of rest than what we were accustomed to before [becoming parents], but we get by. Basically, instead of getting a long, peaceful, 8 straight hours of slumber, I get a series of 2-3 hour spurts all night. It's different, but not impossible. Both Gaby and I were a bit sluggish/snappy/crazy for the first couple of months (I now understand why sleep deprivation has historically been used as a form of torture), but I think my body has finally acclimated to this new pattern.

A major reason why we are feeling good and getting by more easily now is that Gaby and I have discovered a way to help each other out A LOT. We have a little system to assure that neither one of us get's too sleep deprived. Basically, we alternate days of early waking. Little Biet wakes up like a firecracker every single morning at around 9am on the dot. I realize that 9am is a great hour to wake up for most people, but for us its pretty darn early (we work nights & are a couple of city night owls). So when we hear her tiny voice babbling as the morning light shines through the window, one of us will roll out of bed, dress, eat, feed the dog, clothe baby girl, and then take everyone out for a L-O-N-G walk. After a couple hours of walking & playing fetch with Nico & saying g'mornin to the neighborhood (+ the occasional stop at the pet store or the cheese shop or our favorite baker or the farmers' market), the early-rising parent arrives home feeling very accomplished, and finds the late-rising parent feeling very rested. We alternate positions daily. And we are both happy. Actually, all 4 of us are happy.

This morning was my turn to jump out of bed. I find it easier and easier to do as the days pass. I made a smoothie, threw on some clothes, and stepped out into the day. It was a BEAUTIFUL morning today in NYC; Just perfect for strolling: bright and breezy and energetic. I decided to take the girls on a little outing to... Sephora(!).

As the morning passed, I kept experiencing brief moments, little instances, that reminded me: "You are a Mother now." First of all, as I crossed Bowery to Bleeker and headed towards SoHo, I noticed a woman wearing an adorable Marc by Marc Jacobs dress that I've been eyeing (WAY out of my price range, for now) with cute yellow heels. The first thought in my head was of how I couldn't possibly wear Biet wrapped on me in heels like that, so I'd have to choose flats to go with that dress (in my dreamland, of course, where I owned this woman's entire outfit). Then I realized that I had hardly worn heels at all since becoming pregnant, but somehow I'm ok with that. Definitely a Mom moment.

We continued on our way, and at Houston street the little red hand on the crosswalk began blinking just as we approached the corner. I often, no ALWAYS, charge through intersections to beat the red light in a "we can make it!" sort of way. That's just how you cross streets in NYC.  Not this time.  Now that I have a tiny baby with me, I see horrific flashes of myself tripping in the middle of the street, dropping Nico's leash, clutching my baby on the ground and looking up to see the crosswalk turn red and a row of crazed taxi cabs barreling towards me. That vision stops me in my tracks, and I calmly await the next green light.

On to SoHo. We arrive at Sephora, and the door is locked. What's going on?! Did their employees not show up to open the store today? Is it a private event that's closed to the public?? Maybe something was damaged during the hurricane and they're temporarily closed??? No. They simply don't open until 10am. I am not used to this. In fact, this may have never happened to me. I am usually scrambling to make it to stores before they close. I never arrive too early. Until now. Now that I am a Mom.

So we walked around SoHo for awhile, gazing up at the majestic buildings, imagining owning a floor of one someday. I stopped in at Olive's for a cup of coffee, and the words coming out of my mouth belonged to someone else: Do you have decaf coffee? None made, that's ok- decaf espresso? Do you know if the milk you use is from rbgh-free cows? No, RBGH, its a hormone, oh, its ok- do you have soy milk? May I have a double decaf soy latte please. Thank you! The decaf requirement (and it is most definitely a requirement, as I discovered early on when a couple cups of coffee turned Biet into a crazy baby for a couple days) has turned me into an annoyingly picky customer. Sorry coffee shops across NYC, but I'm a Mother now so that's the way it's gotta be.

I walked on, baby on my chest, purse on my shoulder, leash in one hand, coffee cup in the other, feeling very proud at being able to balance it all whilst still enjoying myself.  We got to the door of Sephora just as they were unlocking it. I tied Nico outside, finished my coffee, and headed in. I honestly had no idea how lovely morning shopping is.  No crowd. Everything stocked.  The salespeople aren't worn out and hungry yet, so they're remarkably helpful & kind.  It was amazing. I wanted to try everything on (I usually get a bit carried away and end up leaving Sephora looking like a lady of the night) and buy a whole new set of make-up. Then I remembered my new policy on products: everything natural, no parabens, no chemicals, & preferably organic. Now that I feed a tiny person from my body, I have become so very cautious as to what I put in & on it.  Another Motherly moment: The candy-colored wonderland that is Sephora, filled with thousands of brands of fantastical make-up just waiting to be applied, suddenly became just a couple of shelves of simple, albeit very nice, cosmetics.  I discovered some new brands (that I really love so far) and did still get carried away dressing up my tired eyes, but my newfound standards (which by the way are just as much for me as they are for Biet) certainly limited my choices. Once again, oh well; another little change.

I scooped up my family (Biet had seen enough and was now sleeping peacefully on me) & my new purchases and strolled back home- through Soho, NoHo, the Bowery, & on to our quiet block of the East Village. Gaby was still sleeping. I put on some coffee and climbed back into bed for a minute. I'm looking forward to my turn at sleeping in tomorrow.   Did I just say I was excited to sleep? I guess I am a Mother now.


  1. the most beautiful mother in NYC

  2. lady! this is one heck of a pretty website. you've won the lulu's giveaway! email me at natthefatrat at gmail and i'll get you all set up with my contact at the shop! congrats!!

  3. lovely story. i find myself having those strange "wow, i'm a mom now" moments every day when i do things a little differently than the way i had always done them before. it's a very cool feeling. :)


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