About Dear Bex

This is my place to speak to my daughter. She won't remember these early days in her life, and I want to make sure that I do! Plus, there's just so much I want to say to her and be sure she knows.

November 8, 2012


Dear Bex,

Mommy's been insanely busy, baby girl! There is a lot going on right now, and for the past two months or so  I've been doing some pretty exciting stuff in my free time, time that used to go towards writing on this blog for you!

Because of that, I've missed recaps of pretty awesome things- like Georgia. (A HUGE awesome thing! It was an amazing week of family time, for both the three of us and the twenty-three of us!) Like the Jewish holidays. (In temple, while adorably sitting on a chair listening to the shofar and the rabbi and the Hebrew and the songs, you asked "maybe a new song?") And, most recently, the less-awesome Hurricane Sandy.  I will recap these all soon - with pictures! - but in the meantime wanted to write to say how much I love you.

You are the best part of my days - the time we spend together in the morning, as we chat and you drink your milkies and watch Sesame and I get ready for work is the best way to start a day ever.  You are always quick to tell me what you dreamt about (Thomas! Percy! James!) and what you want to do that day (get a haircut? Go to the dentist? Go to Mimi's house?) and how cute Daddy is.  (Daddy is sooooo cah-yute!)

The time we spend together at night is also amazing - I walk in the door and you shout, "Mommy mommy mommy!" and come running, say "Night night D" and ask to read books, or (with a devilish grin) play "Wif da iPayyyyyad?" and we hang out for the next hour or so, until it's time for more milkies and bedtime. By that point The Daddy is usually home, and he takes over for the best part of HIS day - putting you to bed.  You two have games, rituals and the most amazing bond because of him putting you to bed, and I love listening from outside your door to your laughter and conversations during that time.

You've started a few funny things all on your own - first, you talk with a funny, deeper voice, saying, "Hoy Mawmaw..." which just happened one day! It was hilarious! You do it to The Daddy and Dina too - I love it.  You also started repeating names - "Hi Mamamama!" "Hi DaddyDaddy!" and we respond, "Hi BeccaBecca" and you smile - like a little game you made up all on your own.  You have started memorizing books, and can recite most of Go Train, Go!, the little Thomas board book that I got you.

The best of your new tricks, though, is answering - much like you do for animal noises - what people say.

  • What does Grandpa/Grumpa/Herbie say? "Hi Rivka!"
  • What does Grandma say? "Hi Princess!"
  • What does Mimi say? "Oof" or "Whoop de doo!"
  • What does PopPop say? "Bow bow."
  • What does Amanda say? "Hi Rebecky"
  • What does Ryan say? "Aaaah!" (read: very high pitch screech)
  • What does Mommy say? "Hi Loveygirl"
  • What does The Daddy say? "You're such a stinker!!!"
I love this age - you are a complete sponge, remembering everything we do or say, or that happens to you, and spitting it back out at us hours, days or weeks later.  We went pumpkin picking with Max and Lilly Silberman (and their parents) in October, and at lunch afterwards Maxie took his shirt off in the restaurant.  You laughed about it then, and we told you he was soooo silly!  And since then, you randomly look at us, laugh and say, "Maxie took he shirt off in da restaurant! He soooooo silly!"  

I love how much you are learning - toys that I thought would be too advanced for you for a long time you now conquer with ease - you love reading books still, though you definitely have a few favorites that we cycle through, and STRONG opinions on what you DON'T want to read, and have a favorite magazine (Everyday with Rachael Ray) that you ask us to read all time time, finding pictures of your favorite things inside, like the Scrubbing Bubbles ad (Scrubby Bubbles!), the picture of Duff the chef from Ace of Cakes (Naked baby! - no idea why), and the boy eating from a pouch in the Lunchables ad. 

When I wrote in August I talked about you finishing song lyrics for me, and how that blew my mind.  Now, you sing songs on your own - and the first time you sang Moon, Moon, Moon on the street while walking with The Daddy and I, I cried remembering you as a tiny, eight-week-old blob in yoga class as they ended the session with that song.  You have grown up SO much, and I can not believe that in just a couple of months you'll be 2 - it's going too fast, just like everyone said it would, and I wish I could hit the pause button right here for a while, because it is just too much fun.

I love you, Baby Girl!


August 16, 2012

Tiger Mother

Dear Bex,

There has been a lot of talk recently about a book called, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother."  In it, the author details the strict way in which she was brought up.  Well, I am no Tiger Mother, baby girl - I'm Mush Mama.  One whimper from you, or big fat alligator tear that you can summon at a moment's notice or request, and I am  a puddle.  I frequently am using all of my willpower not to give in to your every whim!

However, as soon as you are in any type of discomfort or harm, I am the fiercest Tiger Mother there is.  Right now you have coxsackie virus (GREAT timing, by the way, as we leave for our annual trip to Georgia in two days!) and are extremely fussy and particular.  Eating and drinking don't appeal to you much because you have sores in your throat, and the pain is also making it somewhat hard to sleep, I think, since you fully had dark circles under your eyes just now before I put you down.  I want to shield and protect you with a ferociousness that I have never known - from germs that make you sick and uncomfortable, from physical and emotional pain, and from people like the woman I just spoke to on the phone.

Apparently, her grandchild had the same RadioFlyer Tricycle that Nicole bought you for your first birthday, and it was stolen from the playground near us.  She decided to confront Dina about having stolen it.  I am horrified to think about how Dina must have felt, and upset that you were there to even hear any of this, baby love.  I called the woman, Tiger Mother claws out, and explained exactly where and when we got the tricycle and that she was completely mistaken.  She was standoffish but apologized for the confusion, and now, twenty minutes after speaking to her, I'm still fuming.  I wish I had told her how much she scared Dina, how much she seems ridiculous in the first place for thinking that whoever did steal her tricycle would bring it back to that same playground, and offered to email her the receipt from Nicole to prove that it's ours.

Like I said - I want to protect you, and anything or anyone having to do with you, with a wicked ferocity.  And that's the kind of Tiger Mother I am proud to be.  The strict one? I'll have to work on my willpower against your insanely adorable charms... someday...

I love you, baby girl!


August 11, 2012

Happy Birthday To You, Bex (Six months late)

Dear Bex,

I never did get around to your birthday post.  As I've mentioned, it's been a bit crazy around here! So I'll just say a few things, and then let the party pictures by Glen and PopPop speak for themselves:

  • I planned your party for months - anxiety-fueled months about venues, entertainment, food, favors and guest lists - and it could not have turned out any more perfect. Except...
  • The only thing I never had anxiety about, or even really considered, was the weather.  It only snowed - literally - twice this entire winter.  Once for a huge blizzard in October that confused everyone, and once on YOUR first birthday.  This meant many people who we wanted to be there were unable to travel in to celebrate with us - meaning tons of leftover room in the venue, food and favors from our now smaller guest list!
  • You napped 364 days in a row at the exact same time - except this day.  You stayed up through your morning nap, and we had no choice but to let you power through to your 11 AM birthday party (planned for 11-2 because - YOU ALWAYS SLEEP BEFORE AND AFTER THAT!)

  • All around though, we had an awesome day - you were adorable, loved your puppet show with the folks from Puppetonia, had tons of friends and family there including Dina, and had a blast.  And then afterwards, all of our family members came back to our house for your baby naming, done by the rabbi from the United Synagogue of Hoboken.  He did a great job, and The Daddy and I spoke about why we named you Rebecca Ellie, AKA Rivka Esther, and it was touching and lovely.  Then you devoured cake for the first time, and loved that too. 

August 9, 2012

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Dear Bex,

My amazing, inquisitive, bright, hilarious, impatient, defiant, gorgeous and sweet 1 1/2 year old girl - today is a landmark occasion in your (also amazing, inquisitive, bright, hilarious, impatient, defiant, gorgeous and sweet) mama's life.  Yesterday morning I took my last dose of medication to treat the postpartum depression that clouded the first weeks of your life.

The dark days  are still unbelievably sharp in my mind, and I unconsciously recall them often as I shake my head and wonder how those feelings are possible.  During those days, and even on some after I felt better, I was content to let others do the "work" of tending to you.  To change your diapers, feed you, even play with you - it was impossible to summon the strength, smiles and energy necessary to do it myself.  

For the past two nights, I had to stay in the city after work and didn't get to snuggle with you. And I ached to be here tonight, and looked forward to the all too quick hour after I get home from work when we  play, dance, read and sing together.  That feeling - to want to be the one to do the "work" - is one that I could not have fathomed feeling 18 months ago.

So this morning I woke up, and didn't take any medication for the first time in a year and a half. I feel amazing. I feel like me - and like the mother I always knew I would be.  I raced home to be with you tonight, and you raced to meet me at the door when I got here, yelling "hiiiiiiiii Mama!"  I sat talking with Dina about how hyper you were all day, and then you and I sat and read about twelve books before The Dada got home, at which point you told him to put on a shirt (you say this to him every night when he gets home, we think because he always changes first thing, but it is amazing nonetheless) and he sat and read with us too.  Then he had to go out, and I got to put you to bed all by myself (this is one of The Dada's favorite tasks and times with you, along with being able to be the one to get you in the morning, so I treasure the times I get to do this!)

We put on your pajamas, and brushed your teeth, and said good night to all the animals, and you asked if we could sing.  This is a newer thing with you, the desire to sing songs with us and have us sing for you.  I love letting you finish the lines of songs, and love even more when you belt out and sing entire songs to us, like Twinkle Twinkle, ABCs or My Bonnie.

As we sat in your glider, you snuggled into my chest sucking your thumb and waiting for me to begin, I was filled with ease, and awe at the love that I felt for you.  The feeling overwhelms me often, and can bring me to (happy!) tears in an instant.  But I stayed strong, and sang "The Love of My Life," the song that most reminds me of my happy pregnancy, and the relative calm of the hospital before the storm that followed, for me.  I sang about half of the song and stopped for some reason, when you looked up at me and said, "My yife?"  I was floored - I asked if you wanted me to keep singing Love of My Life, and you said yes, and when I got to the line "You're the love of my..." I stopped, and you took your thumb out and finished, "yife." and I bawled, while still somehow getting through the rest of the verse (with a little help from you). 

Moments like that take my breath away, and are ones I will always cherish - and this one, on this day - to know that I am back to ME, and you are the amazing you that you are - I can't even explain to you how much that meant to me.

You continue to surprise me with your wit, charm and intelligence, and are slowly but surely becoming a more feisty, opinionated and strong girl.  It is amazing to watch, even more amazing to experience, and the most amazing to feel.  

I am so grateful for the help I was able to get when I needed it - for the therapist I found to talk to, for the family that helped us all, for The Dada who blew away any expectations I had of him as a father, and even for the medication that brought me out of the darkness and back towards the light. But while I have been coming through that tunnel of darkness, I still haven't felt 100% like myself.  I have been close, but not totally me, until today.

I am beyond ecstatic to finally be basking in the light at the end of the tunnel.

I love you, more than you can ever know, baby girl!


July 16, 2012


Dear Bex,

Ah, yes, another two month lag.  I have to get back to shorter posts more often so that I don't get too backed up with memories!!

The past two months have been - in one word - incredible.  You are a child - not a baby - in every sense.  You talk to us constantly, way more than any of your friends.  You say hi to everything you see, ask about things around you, and you know exactly what it is you want at any given time, down to the exact book you would like to read (usually Mimi's Day or What I Like, which you call, "I Yike?"), or where you would like to drink your milk (cousssh?).

You are a daredevil, and love being swung higher on the swings than I would prefer, and being thrown in the air more than I'd prefer!  You had an amazing time on Father's Day at Lulu's house, when they set up their mini rollercoaster in the driveway.  You asked to go on it again and again, speeding over the bump and down  the rest of their driveway while giggling the entire way! It was so much fun to watch - and I look forward to watching you and The Daddy on real rollercoasters together one day (from the ground!!).

You have been amazing about learning to swim this summer, something that The Daddy and I are so relieved about.  We wanted you to be comfortable in the water, and signed you up for swim lessons to make sure that you would have the chance to get in a pool a few times this summer, not knowing when else we'd get you in before Georgia.  Well, little did we know, we've been in TONS of pools this summer - and luckily you took those lessons, because you love it!  We've been to the pool with Grandma and Grumpa (oh, excuse me, you're calling him Herbie these days, just like Grandma does!), and in Florida at Uncle Jay and Aunt Beth's, and at Lulu and Jason's pool club with Amanda and RyRy, and even went out to NayNay's parents' pool during a brutal heat wave after July 4th!  Every time you see a "simming cool" you get so excited.  You ask for your swimmy diaper (Dora diaps???) and your bathing suit (baby soooot?) and even your suntan lotion (yotiony baby?)!  Once you're set, you're all about walking right in - no adjustment time on the steps needed.  You're not in love with us dunking you, but you deal pretty well, and you love climbing the ladders and playing on the steps. I love watching you in the pool, and seeing how much fun you have splashing around.

This summer has meant lots of little trips to places like Philadelphia and Sesame Place, and Mimi and PopPop's and Grandma and Herbie's, and each time we (well, I guess it's really I) pack tons of toys and books and food and changes of clothes in case you are bored or upset or spit up like you used to.  But each time I come back with toys, books and changes of clothes that never made it out of the bag, because you are so happy and content wherever we go.  You go with the flow, eat when it's time to eat, sleep in cribs with your lovies surrounding you, and you just ARE.  It is so much fun, Baby Girl, and I love this time of your life.

I love when you repeat any and everything we say like a little parrot (yes, even the bad words.  The "oh $hit" when I splashed water in your eye while in the tub is my favorite to date).  I love when you laugh at something that happens, whether on TV, or that The Daddy or I did or said, or even yesterday when we were looking out our living room window (a favorite pastime of yours, as you stand on the ledge and look out at the driveway, street and front yard below us) and two small dogs were play fighting with each other.  I love when you say a word, we repeat it as a question to confirm we indeed understand what you want, and you say, "OK!" like we just came up with the best idea ever.  I love when you carry around a spoon and say that you just made soup and offer us bites, and your babies bites, and all of your stuffed animals bites.  I love when you sing the ABC's, or count to ten (in English or Spanish!), or sing Twinkle Twinkle with me, filling in the letters and words that you know.

I know this phase is probably short-lived, and you'll keep growing and changing and surprising us with new, fun and exciting phases in the years to come, but I can't imagine loving you more than I do right now.  My eyes well up constantly as I think about things that you say and do, and each night after one of us puts you to bed, we come out of your room, look at the other and frown.  It took me a while to realize what that was - if it was that we were sad you were not able to hang out with us longer that day, or that you're growing up, or that you were sad about going to sleep - but I realized that it's sadness that another day with you is over, and that we'll never get that time back.

We both love you so much, Baby Girl.

Love always,

May 17, 2012

The New Reality

My baby girl... it's been too long since I've written here.  I have spent much of the last week or two reflecting on the past few months, realizing that this is our new life.  I have been waiting for things to calm down, for us to have some quiet time and lazy days so that I can write here, but the reality is - those don't exist anymore!

There are always things to do, errands to run, people who want to see us (well mostly you) and special occasions to celebrate.  There is always laundry to be done, meals to cook (though I've been bad about that too!), tidying up to accomplish and shopping lists to be made (and then handled!).

Those are the must do's - then there are the want to do's - the pictures to print out and upload to Facebook, the DVRd shows to watch (which do tend to take priority over the laundry, but oh well...), the catch-ups with friends, the drinks after work (admittedly, I make time there too!) and the blog posts to write.

On top of this, there is work, which has been overwhelming for Mommy for a little while now.  I have recently realized just how much all of these lists have taken over my life, and how much I'm simply not able to tackle it all. And realizing that I can't do it all has made me better at each part of it, and slowly I've come to embrace my new reality at home, and at work. But, that the most important thing on my to-do list - to be the best mama I can be, and the best wife I can be to The Daddy - will always take precedence over it all.

I take time every day to read books with you, teach you new words, try and get you to drink your milkies (which was NOT an easy feat when it came to giving up your bottles!) and learn to brush your teeth.  I make sure you eat fruits, vegetables, meat and drink lots of water on top of the puffs and Cheerios you love so much.  I walk around with you outside, showing you birds, ducks, the sky and the grass, and teaching you that it's okay to walk on the grass even though it feels different than the pavement (that took a little while too, my little urban girl!).  And I take you to check-ups where the doctor tells us how great you are growing, that you're tall for your age and verbally advanced and to the dentist who tells us she is always happy when first-time parents know to bring their child in around 1-year old.  And I tell you I love you 1,342,678,902 times a day, hug you even more times than that and kiss you even more than THAT.

You are the best little girl, Rebecca.  Happy, smiling, waving and saying hi to just about everyone you see.  You are a great eater (as made evident by your remarkable belly) and love to try new things, even if you do spit it out half a second later.  You love waffles for breakfast (most often saying "Mama! Dada! Waff!" when you first wake up) and bananas for snacks, along with the baby food pouches that you suck down all in one long sip. You love turkey and avocados and will eat every berry in the western hemisphere if we don't stop you.  And Dina's food is still your favorite - and your love for her trumps just about everything else.  Every day you ask for D, and can't stop smiling, pointing at her and saying hi when she arrives each morning!

On Monday you will be sixteen months old - it still boggles my mind that my love for you grows with each new day, and especially with each new month, that brings with it new milestones and new adorable things that you  say and do.  We went to the mall recently for pretty mcuh the first time, since you can now walk and aren't frustrated by needing to stay in the stroller.  You loved it, saying "ooooOOOOooooh" when we first arrived, and running on the patterns in the carpet with your cousin RyRy.  You loved shopping, and could identify so many things you know on shirts and products all around.  Then we went to Whole Foods, and you sat in the shopping cart loving the errands, and making them so. much. more. fun for me!

We are gearing up for an extra busy few weeks ahead, with trips to Philadelphia, Florida and Sesame Place (sidebar: OMG I can not wait to see you at Sesame Place.  You are obsessed with any and all things Sesame, yelling "Caca NOM NOM NOM" when you see cookie monster, a high pitched "hahaha" when you see Elmo, and know Zoe (ZO-ZO), Big Bird, Murray, Oscar and Grover too. It is going to be an amazing day!!).   And I can't wait to have these experiences with you, because you make everything we do better (see: mall and supermarket, above).

I love you, baby girl.


March 14, 2012

Q1 '12

OK, so it's now been another huge chunk of time since I wrote to you Bex - nothing has eased up at all in the meantime!  Work has been super busy, I've been rushing home to you at night and then I collapse on the couch - there has been less cooking dinner and more ordering in, less productivity in the evenings and more spacing out on the couch, and our Fridays and weekends together? Less downtime, more WALKING!

Next week you turn 14 months old.  You are a walker now, pulling yourself up in the middle of the room and walking all around, often collapsing into our arms as your destination.  You are a talker, saying, "Hiiiii!" loudly and distinctly to just about everyone you see - strangers, family, The Daddy and I, doggies, trees... You also come out with new words all the time.  On Sunday after I told you that you were a good girl after I had changed your diaper, you looked at me and said "good girl!" (though it sounded more like gooo guuuuul) - and then repeated that over and over back to our table at the restaurant.  "Gooo guuuuul. Goooo guuuul!"  Then, this morning the Daddy asked how you slept, and you said, "Gooo!" You're really communicating with us, and it is so much fun.

Your repertoire of animal noises has grown, and you now include what Elmo says and what Cookie Monster says as part of it (Ha ha ha and Nom nom nom, respectively).  You know eyes and nose, and say and point to them all the time too.

And your eating - my goodness, you are a GOOD EATER my baby girl!  Baby food and formula no longer - it's anything and everything to eat, and soy milk in your bottles!  (Oh yeah, you're allergic to milk and eggs.  That was not a fun discovery, and it's been a little bit of a challenge to look at the ingredients of everything we buy for you and make sure there's no milk in it, but I'll do whatever it takes to make sure you never have hives like you did the first day we gave you whole milk in your bottles.)  You love things with strong flavors - Dina makes you chicken soup that you love, and her lentils are awesome too - you love pasta with meat sauce, and  have even gotten into the habit of eating all of our leftovers!

One day I gave you a bite of chicken with taco seasoning that Daddy and I had for dinner the night before, and you gobbled it up and wanted more! You ate a whole bunch of it! You love trying new things, and are very clear about letting us know if you don't like something by opening your mouth and letting it fall right out - and then not even considering trying it again.

You have had awesome playdates with all of your friends recently - with Neve at Sadie's house when she was visiting from London, with Max, Lilly and Marshall at the Silbermans, where your favorite playmate that day was Molly the dog! She would bark at you - a loud, startling noise, and you would CRACK UP - you absolutely loved it!

There have been crazy times recently too - Dina hurt her ankle, and had to stay home for a few days.  Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, Mimi and PopPop (sidenote, that's another word you came out with out of nowhere when they were over one day! He came in the door, you pointed and said "PopPop!" and now when they're here, it's all you say! It's so cute and I know it makes his day!!) all juggled taking care of you - and at the end of that week you got sick.  You had a high fever, were fussy and just generally not my happy baby girl. We thought it was an ear infection and put you on medicine and brought you to Neve's first birthday party.  You were a little fussy, but ate, watched the puppet show and played with the other babies.  The Daddy had you on his lap when you flailed your arms and poked him RIGHT in the eye!  He knew something was wrong immediately, and we had to leave to take him to the hospital! You cut his cornea, making him not be able to really see or even open his eye.  Then, the next night, we saw spots on you and freaked out - were you now allergic to penicillin too?? We went to the doctor (again - and the third mommy had seen that weekend, since the Daddy had to go to a special eye doctor) who said it was a viral rash, not allergy.  Phew! But - uh oh, you really shouldn't have been at that party!  And then you wouldn't have poked Daddy in the eye! And if Mommy was half as good at cutting your nails as Dina was, this probably wouldn't have happened at all! So - yeah a crazy week or two in there.  But all is now seemingly on the up and up...

And so is the weather! It is so nice out these days - we hardly had any snow at all, which is crazy! We've been taking walks on the weekends, and the past two Sundays have gone over to the swings at the end of the day - the perfect way to end our weekends together.  The three of us enjoying th eplayground - you the most though! When we're walking in that direction you can sense it, and as soon as the swings are in sight you start jumping up and down in your stroller! You are my little thrill seeker, and love when The Daddy and I push you so high on the swings, when he pops out and says "Boo!" to scare you, and going down the slides. That must come from your Daddy, because I get scared just watching you do all these things, never mind doing them myself...

Daylight savings just passed so it is staying lighter out longer.  Last night I brought  you outside after I got home from work, and you were walking up and down the path in front of our building with your walker - you loved it, and then I showed you The Daddy when he got out of the parking garage, and you (and he!) lit up.  It was exactly what I had pictured a year ago, when I would walk around with you outside in the evenings waiting for The Daddy to come home.  All of the kids in th ebuilding would be outside playing, and you were too little to even acknowledge them.  I can't wait for this Spring and Summer, when you run and play with them, the perfect way to end all of your days.

February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I am mortified at how long it's been since I've written here.  I have been so busy at work, so when I get home at night and play with you for an hour then put you to bed, then think about, handle and eat dinner, I just collapse on the sofa and go to bed early.

I have missed documenting the holidays and New Year's Eve (you raked in the loot on Hanukkah and didn't wake up when The Daddy and I cheersed in your room at midnight on New Year's).

I have missed documenting your first birthday, which I will do soon because I can't not.  Suffice it to say for now it was the perfect day - other than it being the 1 out of 365 days that you decided not to take your AM nap!!

I have missed documenting your first steps, but have it on video that I will upload here soon!

I missed writing about your first haircut four days ago, when we gave you bangs that look a bit like a dork / hipster / Carol Brady.

But today is Valentine's Day, and my heart is overflowing with such love for you that I just had to come and write!  You are so. amazing.  You have grown up so much in the past two months, and that is also part of what has kept us so busy!  There's walking, talking, laughing and hardcore playing.  There are towers to be built with blocks, kitchens where you pretend to make soup, baby dolls to be fed with their tiny magic bottles, and endless foods to try!  You love every single fruit, but especially berries.  You love anything Dina makes, mostly lentils, chicken soup and pasta with turkey meat sauce.  And yesterday you apparently ate a FreshDirect Kids Meal that I had gotten myself for lunch, and loved their turkey meatloaf, maple mashed sweet potatoes, corn, carrots and peas!

You are funny, and so smart, and unbelievably adorable.  Your vocabulary is growing by the minute - today I heard baba for bottle, wawa for water / agua, cose for closed, and you're now constantly saying haiiiiiieeeeee for hi and bah-bye... there are animal noises galore of course too! My favorite is quack quack, which you do all the time.

You are my favorite thing, my favorite Valentine girl, and the best person to hang out with.

I love you so much, baby girl!