Halloween, I Heart New Haven, etc.

Back in August ( I think) I asked Manu what he wanted to be for Halloween.  I thought I’d do the nice thing and ask first.  Then once he’d forgotten what he told me he wanted, I’d  just ahead and make him whatever I wanted.  I’m a good parent like that. “Monkey!”, he said.  And he didn’t forget it. By mid September I realized I was going to have to come up with a monkey costume.  For some reason I’m opposed to buying pre-made costumes.  I don’t have a good reason.  I just don’t like it.  But an entire monkey costume was going to be a lot of sewing .  Of course I would need two of these ( I like them to coordinate too)  unless I was willing to torture Zeems by making him into a banana and I wasn’t.  So two monkeys.  Then my sister suggested to save time I make Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.  Make the headpieces, the tails, put them in pajamas and call it a day. Brilliant.  Done. The monkey hats took a little time.  The actual hat was easy but I’m crazy and decided I needed to hand-embroider the face. I hammered those out in two days.  The tails were another day.  Not too bad.  Much better than a full body costume.

A pre-Halloween fitting.  Zeems celebrating his half-nakedness.  Baby bump in full effect. Monkey in a box. The weekend before Halloween our little borough had a costume and puppet parade for the kiddos.  It was adorable.

Afterward we met all our neighborhood friends at the local coffee shop for treats.

It was then I decided I didn’t want to leave New Haven.  I love our school.  I love our new friends.  I love that I can walk into my favorite cafe and the owner will play with my children so I have two minutes of peace to drink my coffee.  Riz said I could forget it.  He reminded me of the public school situation and made it clear that private school was not an option.  Later I got online to check out tuition prices to build my case for staying.  Blah.   $20,000/ year times 3 kids (at the same time) times 13 years (K-12).  Hmmmm.  The math is easy, even for a public school grad like me, but don’t do it.  It’ll make you sick.    And that’s before college.  Whatevs.  Back to Halloween. Monkeys jumping on the bed!

The monkeys made out very well trick-or-treating.  It was a bit chilly so Azeem and I hit up our street and then headed back home to hand out candy.  Arman was determined to fill his bucket and he did.  For the safety of my youngest, I took it upon myself to consume any and all candy containing peanuts  (I told you I was a good mom) which is pretty much all the good stuff.  Everyone wins here.

Now that that’s all said and done, we are eagerly anticipating the holiday season.  Turkeys, trees and oodles of treats.  So much more fun ahead!


The Big Boy Room

Remember about 12 years ago when I said I was going to start work on Manu’s Big Boy Room???  Well guess what?!  I’m still not done.  The child-rearing gig apparently takes a lot of time.  The good news is I’m about 75% done.  There’s a bare wall I still need to tackle, a mirror to paint, and a closet door I want to do something with once the inspiration hits.  At this rate, I should have the entire house (which is quite teeny tiny) entirely decorated 2 years after we move out.  I’m slow.

The room is a collection of major department store finds, Etsy, and lots of DIY sewing and craft projects.  It’s been fun , but I think it’s time I wrapped this one up….probably sometime in 2011 after the holidays and the little guy’s 1st birthday party.  Of course I’ll post additional pics when the room is complete.

Did I show you the “before”?  I don’t believe I did.



We’re Renters!

Never thought I’d be so excited to be renting again, but I am; I really, really am.  I think in part it’s because after a painstaking ( and I’m not using that term lightly) search, we ended up with what I hope will be the ideal little rental…heat included!  Bring it, New England winters!

My always generous dad, drove into CT to scope out some possibilities and this tiny (800 sq. ft. ) house was clear winner among a lot of “crap” (direct quote from Dad).

Our only concern about the space is the size.  Our old house was more than DOUBLE the size of this place.  The  tenement apartment we’re currently occupying is about 800 sq. ft. so we have an idea of what we’re in for in terms of itty bitty living space.

What I’m not at all worried about is all the potential this cute little house has! I super excited to decorate the new digs (got the ok to paint!).  My design folder is already brimming with ideas.  I’m going with a theme of light and calm (ha!) with a nod to classic New England style.  Think  blue-greys, nubby linen, nailhead accents, stripes.

Here’s some pics of the space as it is now:


Moving day is May 27th.  Wish us luck!  We’ll need it!


Manu turned two on Friday.  I can’t believe I have a two year old.  I’m pretty sure I’ll continue to say that every year as long as I live:  ” I can’t believe I have a _______ year old…”

Last year there was a big to do.  This year it just didn’t seem possible.  With a newborn and an upcoming out of state move, I decided not to throw a party.  I felt a little guilty when I made that decision and now that it’s over, well, I still feel a little pang of guilt.  There’s just too much change.  He didn’t plan on being a big brother to a needy three month old and it wasn’t his idea to pack up and move hundreds of miles away. (More on the chaos surrounding the upcoming move in another post.) The celebration was low-key and the truth is, I’m the only one who cared.  After breakfast we called him into the living room to give him his present. He’s really into “fixing” things lately which is just crazy adorable.  ” I fix it!”, he says to anything with screws.  A Manu-sized tool box seemed like the perfect gift.

Happy Birthday, little Mr. Fix It.  We love you more than you’ll ever know.


See my face?  That’s a face of joy and relief.  Was I ever glad to finally put February behind us!  We still had some unpacking to be done, but that seemed like a breeze compared to what we had just gone through.  The kids were feeling better too and Arman knocked our socks off with how easily he adjusted to the change of address.

I guess he was feeling really great that first full day in the apartment that he even decided to give the big brother gig a go.  “Hold him?”  He’s been the kindest, gentlest, big brother ever since.

Not having to pack up our lives meant that we had more time for more important things: fueling our obsessions with trains…

…and celebrating birthdays!  The Oldfields welcomed sweet baby Aiden to the world on March 4th.

Speaking of birthdays, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Riz turned the big 3-0 this month.  It didn’t seem to phase him in the least.  Is that a guy thing?  I’m doing everything in my power to avoid 30 and so far nothing seems  to be working.   Some say the key is to young at heart.  If that’s the case, I wouldn’t worry about Riz aging anytime soon!


A new year.  A fresh start.  In 31 days we packed in enough chaos, excitement, and change to last the year.  It was beyond overwhelming to say the least.  In bullet form, I give you January:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • January 1st:  538 Atlantic goes on the market.  We spent the days leading up to the 1st, staging the house for a fast sale.  This included selling and giving away lots and lots of STUFF, putting other stuff in storage, taking magazine worthy pics, and keeping the entire 1600+ square feet in show condition at ALL times.  Just writing about it is making me anxious.  What a crazy way to live!  We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we had no idea how trying it would be.
  • January 2nd:  Realtor calls and says we have our first showing….in 40 minutes.  Yikes!  The next 3 weeks would bring many, many prospective buyers (we were averaging 7 showings/week)through our front door: People showing up unannounced, people not showing up when they said they would, 15 minute notifications,  people dragging their snowed covered boots through the nursery, 2nd showings that resulted in dashed hopes.
  • January 6th:  It’s official!  Riz gets accepted into his first choice for a Child and Adolescent Pyschiatry Fellowship!  We move in June!
  • January 26th:  I call my mom.  ” I think you should come.  I’m having mild contractions.”  HA!  Little did I know how much longer I’d be having those.
  • January 27th:  Mom arrives.  Contractions disappear during the day and reappear after dinner every day from now until Pinky Pie finally arrives.
  • January 28th:  We show the house with a 15 minute notice to a gentlemen from Boston.  I’ve got a good feeling about him.
  • January 30th:  Gentleman from Boston shows pics of the house to the wife and she flies in to look in person.  Still having contractions.  Nothing worth timing.  Super-frustrated.
  • January 31st:  11 AM Couple from Boston look at the house for a third time.  We come back from a trip to Lowes to find them filling out paperwork in the kitchen (YES!).  Contractions getting stronger?  I’m not sure anymore?  3PM  Boston couple puts an offer on the house and negotiations begin 4PM  Contractions are definitely stronger now but they’re not consolidating and I can still easily breathe through them.  Grrr!  I’m ready to have this baby!  We decide to go to the hospital anyway.
  • 5pm:  Check into Magee.  I’m pretty sure there’s no way they’re admitting me yet but figure it’s worth a shot.
  • 6pm:  Triage resident comes in to check me out and has me guess how far along I am.  I say 3cm (hoping to be far along enough so they don’t send me home.  She says: “7 and 90%” Success!  It’s off to get the epidural!
  • 7pm:  After a little back and forth we accept an offer on the house.
  • 9:01pm:  It’s a boy!  Sweet little baby Azeem born on his due date weighing in at 6lbs, 150z like his big brother.  He’s perfect and we’re over the moon!