Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

 

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 (Well, actually, this photo was taken by Ana Schechter when Goldie was one month but it was so damn cute and perfect for the post title, I couldn’t resist using it. Doesn’t she look like she is talking to us, saying something along the lines of- in the voice Fred Armisen used as Joy Behar on SNL- “I’m a baby. So what, who cares?”)

Two months down, a lifetime to go. While yes, I am still holding on to our amazing baby nurse (although I did actually enjoy- and feel quite accomplished after- the week I took care of all things Goldie myself and look forward to doing it again next week), the more this little lady opens her eyes wide and smiles, the more I am craving her company. I am not a baby person- and I know people always say “When it’s your baby it will be different” but, it isn’t that different. I am still not a baby person. I love her, but I am not that person that gets a warm feeling inside holding a baby all day long. I have many friends that do though, which is great for me and I plan on fully taking advantage of that starting next week when the weather is warmer and she has all her shots and we can take her out and about with us to observe our crazy suburban shenanigans…

The difference between baby 1 and baby 2 is astronomical. I mean, the babies themselves aren’t that different, but our family certainly is. When Alexa arrived into this world, we were so freaked out and every second of every day revolved around her- was she entertained, was she learning something new, was she eating enough, was she getting outside enough, was she going to cry if we took her to a restaurant and if there was even a 1% chance she was, then no point in leaving the house anyway, etc. With Goldie, I am significantly more laid back- which I figure is pretty normal in the second child situation, right? I don’t have the time or the energy to obsess over things- and while much of me feels guilty that we have only a handful of photos and I had to make up some of the answers on the pediatrician’s questionnaire because I didn’t know for sure if she makes cooing noises “sometimes” or “often” and couldn’t remember exactly when she stopped clenching her hands into fists, part of me feels fairly confident that this lack of helicoptering (I think that is the “parenting” term”) will result in a more relaxed, easy going little girl. 

If we can have at least one chill person under our roof, it will be a vast improvement over our current state of 4 hyperactive control freaks (I include our dog Norman in this- sure he walks on four legs and is adopted but his personality, errr, pupsonality, is clearly shaped by Brian and me) in the house. 

Goldie girl- you are our great chill hope. No pressure, but…we’re counting on you. 

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{A friend of mine posted an amazing stream-of-consciousness recap of her year on Facebook this morning, and it inspired me to look back at my year in much the same way- small soundbites capturing moments and experiences that most certainly impacted the person I am now versus the person I was a year ago.}

I started the year focused very much on the professional…launched a web series…learned the art of Photoshop…explored new ways to express myself on my blog and along the way potentially figure out what I wanted it to “be”…put myself out there in a new way as a partner able to produce branded content for clients as opposed to simply hosting it…spent hours upon hours upon hours learning video editing lingo and the ins and outs of graphics…booked and executed numerous segments in addition to it all…hustled like I was 25 again…so much so that I didn’t write my yearly “letter to Alexa” update before her 3rd birthday…

Threw perhaps the most epic party I have ever thrown for my 35th and loved every debaucherous second of it…had more amazing times with friends that are fast becoming our family than I can remember/count…drank too much, probably didn’t eat enough at times, worked out like a madwoman and became proud of the strong, fit body that I had created…focused on eating cleaner, cooking more frequently, and becoming more adept at the art of entertaining just to be kind of a bit more of a grown up…

Took Alexa to Disney World with my mom and learned so many things about my little girl that I realized I had not noticed before…found out that these little people can be scared, fragile, nervous and not always the mini-warriors that, in our heads, we think we gave birth to…noted to self to be more on top of this whole motherhood thing…back home in time for a fun Cinco de Mayo fiesta with friends where I marveled at Alexa’s free-spirited dance moves and the incredible people we had become lucky enough to surround ourselves with in suburbia…

Then, in a matter of minutes, the entire year got turned on it’s head…

May 19th…went to a new doctor in hopes of finding out why my voice had been hoarse for a month and counting, figured it was laryngitis…May 20th….at Today Show doing a segment on the Cosmetic Executive Women Beauty Award winners and get a voicemail from an Unknown number…”Hey Jenn, it’s Dr. Karol. Just wanted to let you know, um, your pregnant.”…WHAT?!

Unplanned, unexpected…I don’t know many 35 year olds who just “get pregnant” anymore…Worked to wrap our heads around it…Two weeks later, first ultrasound, we were told that there actually wasn’t a baby…Went to Kiawah for my father-in-law’s birthday, then to Miami for a wedding…drank a lot, stayed out too late, readjusted my  view of the future back to what it was prior to May 20th- Lex, Brian and Me…Back to the doctor on June 9th for a check-in…Was told to wait another few days for the pregnancy to “take care of itself”…Led to an unexpected emotional roller coaster where I questioned everything I thought I wanted versus what I may have actually wanted if I took the laser-focus career vision in my head down a notch…Was asked to come in for an ultrasound on Friday June 13th at which point we were told “Congrats, the baby looks healthy, nice heart-beat, you are probably 7 1/2 weeks along…” WHAT?!

Goodbye Titos…goodbye boozy weeknights with the girls at Compo Beach…goodbye body…goodbye family of three…hello new reality. We told Alexa, she said “wow”…my thoughts exactly…

Decided the “false” false alarm was a sign, a wakeup call to make me appreciate the gift that my family had been given…Especially when I found the baby was a GIRL and cheered like a European in the stands at the World Cup…made a conscious effort to be present in life beyond the hustle…not measure my worth in segments booked or clicks on links and instead in time spent with my family…worked on the projects that I WANTED to work on alongside clients and producers and brands that I WANTED to work with…put things in writing on my blog that I never thought I would type with my own two hands…created (sometimes) a calm atmosphere in our house at night complete with- gasp!- a healthy home-cooked meal every now and then…planted a garden twice as big as the one last year…tried to enjoy quieter days with hours to spare if I wanted to binge watch Sons of Anarchy in the middle of the day…joined the Board of Directors at Alexa’s preschool which sort of feels like the most adult thing I have ever done…embraced elastic waists and 9pm bedtimes…became the designated driver (albeit a bitter, agitated one)…learned what it feels like to go to Saturday morning birthday parties at Tumble Jungle and NOT be hungover (quite nice, I must say)…designed a nursery…decided on a baby name…reminded myself every single day about that aforementioned commitment I made in June about how I was gonna measure my worth…screen shot lots of inspirational quotes off Instagram to support my efforts, including one that has stuck with me the most “Let me remind you: Wherever your focus is directed that’s where your energy goes. Whatever you allow in your space, you eventually become.”

2014 taught me that you really never do know where a year can take you…and it is possible to shift your personal paradigm of what is the most important thing…it isn’t easy, and I am still working on it every single day, but I know it can be done…you can have a career without putting so much pressure on said career to define who you are in every aspect of your existence…you can be a mom and go on playdates and create Pinterest boards about crafts to do with toddlers without driving a minivan littered with Goldfish crumbs and soccer balls…WHAT?!

There may in fact be a happy space that exists between the laser-focused competitive career woman watching out for her bottom line and the calm and capable den mother watching out for her family… and hey, if you want to hang out in that space for a bit and figure out your footing, pull up a chair…let’s do this. (But give me a few minutes, I have to go get started on my yearly letter in honor of Alexa’s 4th birthday that is fast approaching- I owe her an extra good one this time around…)

All the best for 2015, everyone!

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My body threw me a bone this pregnancy. It made the experience of getting HUGE so insanely unpleasant that I am actually excited to give birth. Which says a lot, since the mere thought of having two kids is enough to send me into a tailspin.

Here are three thoughts occupying my hormonally hopped-up brain at the moment:

1- Instagram has made being pregnant in 2014 vastly different from being pregnant in 2010. I wish I could say the the photos of other girls on similar pre-natal timelines  as myself posting photos of their skinny arms and barely-there bumps doesn’t affect me, but it does. In real life, I am quite proud of my self-confidence- it took me many years to get to this place, and I relish in how petty, silly things truly do not get me riled up anymore. In pregnant life, I am bitter. Bitter that I can’t drink, bitter that I can’t fit into my clothes, bitter that by 6pm every night I am physically incapacitated and reduced to a series of grunts and moans that lasts up until bedtime. And just when the bitterness is starting to subside, I check Instagram and within seconds, my totally pissed off at the world tank is full again :)

2- It is really weird to say “the girls’ rooms.” We are working on the nursery right now, and making some changes to Alexa’s room as well- and when I say things like “today is the carpet install in the girls’ rooms” I feel like a total imposter.  Who am I to have TWO kids?? I can barely make it through the morning routine with one. This is sheer craziness, people.

 3- I love Hayden Panettiere. I never really cared about her either way to be honest. But thanks to this, she can count on me as a forever fan. Finally, someone is keeping it REAL. 

 

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My flexible (errr, unpredictable) work schedule affords me the privilege of spending lots of time with Alexa.  That same schedule (and the career it has built)  affords me the luxury (and necessity, as finding babysitters on short notice for 4am arrivals is none too easy) of  full-time, live-in help. So this means that while I often get to do drop offs and pick ups and school, enjoy afternoon play dates and sit on the sidelines at soccer, I don’t often do straight 24 hour “mom” shifts without a little (or a lot) of help from our nanny and/or husband. 

Until last weekend.  

As a result of this experience, I identified “The 5 Stages of A Weekend Alone With a 3.5 Year Old”:

1: PANIC.
Upon figuring out that my husband would be out of town, and our nanny needed the weekend off, my (very large at this moment) stomach dropped. Holy sh*t. I was going to be ALONE, with Alexa, for 2 bedtimes, 2 bath times, 8 meals, 36 hours, on a weekend where we didn’t have any birthday parties, any out-of-town visitors, any major plans, and a mediocre weather forecast?! For many, I imagine this would not bring on hives. But for me, I sweat through 2 white t-shirts just thinking about it (a big inconvenience, mind you, since I only have 2 white t-shirts that fit me at the moment.) Especially in light of a very trying week where I became convinced Alexa was put on the earth to put me in my place, test my patience, and age me by at least 15 years with every tantrum and attempted time-out that followed…

2: OPTIMISTIC EXCITEMENT.
I scoured local websites for fun activities to keep us busy. Festivals, parades, apple picking on a farm 2 hours north of us, a back-to-school shopping trip to the mall, a stack of craft how-to printouts from Pinterest (and the accompanying outing to Micheal’s for supplies)- for about 3 hours, I fancied myself as Mary Poppins or something, envisioning Lex and I, skipping about town, hand in hand, smiling ear to ear, not a care (or meltdown) in the world.

3: MOMENT OF REALIZATION.
By 7am on Saturday morning, we were awake. And dressed. And had eaten breakfast. The weather outside was nothing short of abonimable, and the fact that at any moment we could (and did) lose power and access to Netflix was quite Now what? 

4: RAGE.
Why does my daughter insist on defying even the smallest request I make of her? Why is “Sofia the First” only 22 minutes long? Why did I think it was a good idea to run around in the muddy backyard so that even though I am exhausted beyond the point of function I still need to give said defiant daughter a bath?Why can’t a pregnant woman to safely enjoy a few glasses of wine without the ensuing guilt that she did something horrible when women in Europe (and my own mother in the ’70s) imbibe at their leisure?  Why did I agree to let my husband go on a guy’s weekend? Why did my husband think it was okay to go on a guy’s weekend, even though I told him it was totally fine, doesn’t he know to read between the lines? And on, and on, and on…

5: MARTYRDOM. 
It is 5pm on Sunday. Alexa and I are both alive, and actually kind of happy. We had a great weekend (due in no small part to some very amazing friends who made the extra effort to include us in their family activities, because I have learned, it really does take a village), lots of laughs, a few adventures, and some quality down time cozied up on the couch watching our mutual favorite movie, “Annie”. But there was NO way I was letting Brian know any of that when he walked in the door, lest I lose the opportunity to guilt him into doing the entire bath and bedtime routine. Not a chance. But truth be told, I felt blissfully proud of myself for not only making it through the weekend, but actually enjoying the weekend. That isn’t to say I am not grateful for the skills I learned at drama camp- channeling my inner Mommy Martyr afforded me the luxury of watching not one, but THREE episodes of “Sons of Anarchy” before passing out sometime around 9pm. A whole other kind of bliss, let me tell ya. 

 

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