Honey Bee

Oh, hey.

March 14, 2015

You think I would’ve had something to say over the past few months given that I have a baby…growing…in my body.

And I do have a lot to say but I’m short on time. Or maybe it’s just that I’m really bad at prioritizing this little space on the internet. Here’s my attempt at remedying that: a post that is probably going to be all over the place, saying everything and nothing at the same time. You’re welcome.

SO.

I am 7.5 months pregnant.

WHAT.

How is this possible?

I do not know.

We are having a baby girl. (!!!)

I was convinced that it was a boy. I mean, completely convinced. So much so that when the ultrasound technician said “girl”, I said “can you check again?” and she gave me some real good NYC attitude and snipped “I know how to do my job” and then zoomed in on my daughter’s genitalia and started pointing out specifics until J and I were like OKAY OKAY WE GET IT PLEASE STOP THIS IS WEIRD.

I am completely delighted by the fact that it’s a she though hesitant about…a lot of things. On a practical level, the majority of my nanny experience involved boys. (Specifically two identical little buggers.) So a boy felt like something I knew, something I could handle. A girl felt scary. I immediately thought of how I felt about my mother when I was 13 and thought OH GOD, NO. And then a few people pointed out that I wasn’t going to birth a teenager so maybe calm down and relax?

So that’s what I did.

I’m trying to stay as zen as possible in general. Everyone always talks about how high maintenance they were for their first child and then by the time the second came around they were much more relaxed. I’ve attempted to approach this pregnancy as if it were my second. I haven’t paid much attention to the list of DO NOT EAT OR YOU WILL DIE foods (though this is mainly because as a vegetarian, I don’t eat most of them anyway). The first few weeks of pregnancy I was terrified to walk down the street, let alone exercise until I went to my therapist and was like HELP I AM AFRAID OF EVERYTHING AND ALSO REALLY BLOATED and she calmly said, “Laura, go to the gym”. And since then, I’ve tried to stay as chill as possible. I eat food. I exercise. I take naps. My baby will not be born a teenage girl who hates me. I got this.

I have 10 weeks to go and I’m trying to savor these moments before she arrives. Right now she’s easy to take care of and though everyone warns me I’m about to get really uncomfortable, I’m still feeling pretty good. The first trimester was so horrendous that even a random leg cramp in the middle of the night or baby elbow to the ribcage feels completely tolerable. We’ll see how I feel in a few weeks! For now, here’s a photo I took of my belly in an Italian restaurant bathroom. The End.

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It’s Electrifying

February 24, 2014

I didn’t set out trying to get electrocuted.

If you’ve ever been electrocuted, then you know how it feels and you would know that that should never be a human being’s end goal. Ever.

But that’s precisely what happened about a week ago on a rollicking Saturday night.

Let’s preface it by saying I was Tired. Like, real tired. A couple night’s of bad sleep, too much work, I was pretty delirious. So at the rockin’ hour of 11-something on a Saturday night, I turned to my sweet husband and said, that’s it, I give up, I’m going to bed.

“Remember to unplug the heater,” said J.

Now, the heaters in our apartment are sensitive little beings. We usually sleep with the heat off, which is fine, but when the temperature drops below a certain degree, the heater will randomly blow air through its vents, even when turned off, to prevent everything from freezing. So throughout the evening, because the heater is on my side of the bed, I will get randomly blasted with ice cold air. It’s as fabulous as it sounds.

So we finally came to the conclusion that oh, you could just unplug it, problem solved.

I stumbled into the bedroom and pressed the OFF switch. Then I reached down and pulled on the plug which is a HUGE three-pronged crazy thing in a HUGE custom-made socket. It wouldn’t budge. So because I’m not a quitter, I just thought, I KNOW! I’ll use BOTH my hands and pull HARDER on it, not even stopping to think that the heater, at that moment, was STILL blowing out its final remnants of hot air. As in, I had pressed OFF, but it wasn’t really OFF.

And so it came to be, that in my approximation, when I took my two hands and grabbed that plug and both of my index fingers made contact with one of the metal prongs, 10 zillion watts of electricity jolted through my body.

Let me tell you…

Aside from some static electricity mini zaps, I have never before felt anything like that. It zipped through my index fingers, up into my wrists and all the way down to my toes. I screamed as if being murdered, because I was pretty sure I was and jumped back about three feet into the air. J came running and found me hysterical holding out my index fingers to him, gulping for air, my heart beating like crazy.

“ELECTROCUUUUUUUUUTION!!!” I wailed.

“What?”

“I-I-I ELECTRO-HICCUP-CUTED-HICCUP-M-M-MYSELF ON THE P-P-PLUUUUUUUG!”

J sat me down on the couch and calmly looked into my eyes, speaking slowly, as if to a very stupid animal.

“Do I need to call…an AM-BU-LANCE?”

“I DON’T KNOW!!!!” I yelped. “AM I GOING TO DIE?”

And it was a dramatic question, of course. But the fear was very real as my heart was racing and my body was on high alert.

“I think,” said J, as sweet as can be, “that in these types of situations, if you were going to die…you probably would’ve done so by now.”

“WHAT????”

“Your heart would’ve stopped right away.”

“WHAT???”

“I mean, at least I think so. Do you want me to Google it?”

“I’M DYYYINNNNNNNNG!” I wailed and buried my face in J’s t-shirt.

We sat like that for a long time.

My whole body felt so strange. The memory of the electricity stuck to my skin, I could feel the jolts in my fingertips still and the warm buzzing and burning sensation throughout my arms.

After sitting in silence for quite awhile, I looked up at J and said, “Remember when I electrocuted myself?” and started to laugh.

“DO NOT,” said J. “THAT WAS NOT FUNNY.”

But the corners of his mouth were already turning up at the ends.

“YES IT IS,” I insisted. “THAT WAS RIDICULOUS.”

“Laura, come on…”

Pause.

Then he ventured out loud…

“Do you think your hair stood up when it happened?”

And that was just enough to push us to the brink of a new kind of hysteria, and the laughter started and couldn’t be stopped. I told him I wished  someone had taken a picture so I could’ve seen it, wondering if you could’ve seen my skeleton like you can in cartoons.

After about an hour, I made my way back to bed, staying as far away from the heater as I possibly could.

“I think I’m going to let you deal with that from now on,” I told J, as he tucked me in.

“No problem.”

I fell asleep with phantom pain in my wrists but laughter in my head and my love the next room over, checking in every now and then to make sure I was alright.

Weddings and Stuff!

September 3, 2013

I’m getting married on Saturday.

No big deal, you guys.

Back when we were first planning our wedding, the hardest part was deciding where to do it. We obviously wanted to try to get married in NYC or around it, since that’s where we live and that’s what we love but oh, YOU GUYS, I don’t know if you’ve heard but New York is a little expensive?

Sample conversation from wedding planning:

ME: Oh okay, so that’s $15,000 and that includes…

HORRIBLE PERSON: The venue.

ME: Alright. So food, booze…

HORRIBLE PERSON: Nope. Just the venue.

ME: Oh. So. That includes…

HORRIBLE PERSON: The space.

ME: Ooookay. So if I wanted to feed people…

HORRIBLE PERSON: Dinner starts at $150/person.

ME: Including alcohol?

HORRIBLE PERSON: No, just dinner.

ME: Can you hang on a second while I throw up?

etc. etc.

It became clear after many similar conversations that we couldn’t afford a New York wedding if we wanted to invite all the people we wanted to invite. I don’t know if you’ve heard but I have a few relatives. (4 kids in my family, parents each one of 7, 45 first cousins! High five!) J also has a large family and an admirably huge circle of friends and we sadly had to say goodbye to New York as an option.

So we opened our search elsewhere. After throwing some ideas up against our extensive list of Do’s and Don’ts (e.g./Do not make people fly into an airport and then drive 10 hours and then get on a donkey to take them the rest of the way), we settled on a place near and dear to our hearts: the beach! Specifically, Amelia Island, Florida where J’s parents own a beach house and where we travel a few times a year to swim in the ocean and go for bike rides under Spanish moss.

It was affordable, easy to get to, personal to us (both J and I grew up loving the ocean) and lovely.

It’s been tricky to plan a wedding far away from home but we’ve had a ton of help and it’s been really fun to attempt to create a memorable weekend experience for everyone. All I wanted was a raw venue so I could make it feel like us and I could get as far away from the types of places where all the weddings look the same. I’m pretty thrilled with how it’s coming together which feels like a huge relief considering the wedding planning process in general has been more stressful for me than it has been enjoyable.

Since we took the wedding out of town, we’ve had a lot of people decline which was to be expected. I prepped myself for the disappointment, realizing that to take it personally would only upset me. Kids are back in school and summer is technically over and it’s hard to get on a plane if you’re elderly or sick or have little babies or just a busy adult.

What I’ve realized though is that the disappointments have made me ten times more grateful for the people who are showing up. I’m overwhelmed, quite honestly by all the people I love so much coming from all over to celebrate with me. Tom is flying in from Los Angeles and Alayna and her husband will be there though they are grieving and my friends Dan and JK and 6/7ths of my improv team, compromised of actors and artists who will light up the dance floor and be generally ridiculous.

It’s the sweetest and the loveliest and I’ve cried many times thinking of it.

I’ve been in Florida since Sunday, taking this upcoming week to finalize last minute details and spend some time with J before people start arriving and things get crazy. The wedding is Saturday at the sweetest little chapel followed by a reception at sunset at a lovely space on the marsh side of the island with huge windows and Chinese lanterns over the dance floor. My dad is giving a toast in his ridiculous Brooklyn accent which is sure to delight everyone, as long as the Southerners can understand him. (J is from Nashville, Tennessee.)

I’m thrilled to have a party.

I’m even more thrilled to marry J.

There was a time in my life when I did not believe a person so wonderful existed. There was also a time in my life when I did not believe a person so wonderful would ever find me.

I’m so lucky to have been proven wrong on both counts.

I love you, J.

Let’s get married and lay on the beach for the rest of our lives.

A Walk

June 3, 2013

It was a black tie wedding and I kept my heels on until the end. You ask the shuttle bus driver to let us out near your parents’ house where we are staying instead of downtown at the hotel with the rest of the guests.

“We’ll have to walk a few minutes,” you say apologetically as we get off the bus.

I walk a few feet and realize I’m not going to make it in these heels so I hold onto your arm for balance while I slip off my shoes one at a time. The road is suburban, sleepy at this late hour and dark. So different from New York. Tiny lights shimmer from the front porches of houses, guiding our way. We walk on the pavement, listening to the crickets. I pretend the white line of the shoulder is a balance beam.

Eventually the gravel hurts too much on my bare feet so you tell me to move to the grass. It rained all day today and the blades are cool and wet squishing between my toes, heavenly relief. Your tuxedo jacket is limp over your arm like a puppet waiting to come to life.

I carry my heels in my hand and we walk on the grass, through the yards of your childhood friends. We talk about the food we ate and the people we saw and how weddings are a great but weird way to catch up with old friends who disappear out of your life for years at a time and resurface again. You want to talk and catch up in a meaningful way but the music is too loud so you drink too much and dance too long and say how great it was to see them again and wave as you get off the bus.

I like when you talk like this. How evident your frustration is at a lack of meaningful connection with people you love. I love how much you care. I like the way you pause between sentences, the way you say ‘um’ and tilt your chin while you gather your thoughts. I think back to the first time we grabbed a drink and you showed up wearing a sweatshirt that looked really soft and you tilted your chin a lot and chose your words carefully and listened intently to everything I had to say.

When we tiptoe into your parents’ house, I realize I’m missing the wrap your mother loaned me. I panic instantly at how careless I can be, scanning my brain for when it might have slipped off my arm in the grass somewhere.

“I’ll find it,” you say, calm as can be. You kiss me on the forehead and tell me to get ready for bed and you walk out again through the front door, into the darkness to retrace our steps.

My feet are wet from the grass and my body aches from dancing. I’m just a few steps away from collapsing into bed but you’re out there in the middle of the night, fixing my mistake.

My sister-in-law once asked me if you were always so mellow. I admitted that you weren’t, not all the time, but most of the time, yes. A feeling I’m drawn to because it makes me feel grounded, my feet firmly planted instead of flying through the air as they usually are. I live in the clouds and I talk fast and I lose things and where are my keys? I don’t know where they are, I don’t know where I am.

You remind me when I forget and you find the things I lose and when I’m anxious, you tell me to breathe and you let me borrow your confidence and try it on for size. I don’t remember a flash of fireworks when I met you or the surging of a Hollywood movie score, blinding white light and the Hallelujah Chorus. Instead, I experienced a warm feeling that slowly and steadily crawled over me over time, as if you were an old blanket, a friend I once knew a lifetime ago, a person who made me feel safe and strong at the same time.

My cell phone rings.

“I found it,” you say. “See you soon.”

I stand in the silent kitchen, eyes closed and wait for you to reappear.