Now I Am a Fire Hazard.

“Ma’am, you can’t do that here, you’re a fire hazard, ” is what the lady said to me when I tried to breastfeed in her local Long Island restaurant.   We were seated at a booth, but there wasn’t enough room between the table and where I was sitting in the booth to hold the baby at chest level. I tried to do that first, but the only way to fit the baby would have been to lay the baby on the table, but surely my dining companions would not have appreciated that.  See what I mean in my crude illustration:

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So I did the next best thing, I grabbed a chair from one of the dozen empty tables around us and propped it at the head of the booth where there was plenty of room. I covered myself with a nursing apron so I was more than decent… though, as I mentioned, the restaurant was basically empty except for one other table who also had a small child with them so the cover was more for my comfort than anyone else’s.

As I got cozy and started to feed my hungry baby the not-so-nice lady came over and told me that by putting a chair at the head of the table/booth I was creating a fire hazard, despite the restaurant being all but empty. I asked her where would be a more appropriate place to feed my child and she only responded all snippy and awkward, “I don’t know. You are a fire hazard,” again and she walked away.

Helpful, right?

I am quickly learning that breastfeeding in public is a hotly contested subject. Have you seen the very recent Luvs commercial featuring a breastfeeding mom?  In the first scene a new mom is struggles to breastfeed under a cover, clearly frazzled, in a public space. Then in the second scene, on her second child, she has abandoned the cover and bravely feeds her child at the table. She is so over being covered up, now being an expert mom and not giving a shit about dumb stuff like covers.

Even this fairly innocuous commercial created controversy. This quote in the article, Luvs commercial about public breastfeeding creates controversy  sums up the opposition pretty well, “Luvs should stick to selling diapers and stay out of the politics!” wrote “Tasteless” from Temecula, Calif., on the Luvs website. “I found the ad tasteless and crude.”

As recently as last month Facebook got into hot water about removing images posted of women breastfeeding in a breastfeeding group because it was first assumed they were indecent.

This is all confusing to me given the mixed messages society is sending. Ever since I hit the 3rd trimester of my pregnancy I have been bombarded with literature, doctors and nurses telling me that, “Breast is Best!!” and pushing the breast feeding regimen. New moms are practically bullied into it and those who choose to go the formula route are made to feel that they have to feed their baby in secret to avoid judgement for choosing not to breastfeed as though they are deliberately poisoning their child. So why isn’t breastfeeding met with applause and cheers of approval in public? I should be cheered and celebrated! It doesn’t make any sense at all. Is it so indecent? More indecent than the window display in your local Victoria’s Secret? Or even worse, American Apparel? I don’t think so.

American Apparel ad

Exhibit A: American Apparel ad on their website. Seriously? And you’re upset about breastfeeding mammas?

No one tells you how hard breastfeeding is before you have a baby.

It’s really hard. Painful at times, time consuming, sweaty, exhausting. But I am glad I am choosing this route, though I hold no judgement towards mammas who choose other routes (‘do what you gotta do’ is my motto when it comes to motherhood). If I can’t breastfeed in public that means I am perpetually tied to my house since the little guy eats every 1.5 to 2 hours during the day. If it’s so important that I choose to breastfeed, everyone else in our community needs to get on board and support mothers like me, especially new moms who feel vulnerable and exhausted.

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This is me, rocking it out. SO indecent, right?

If I want any kind of life as a breastfeeding mother, I will need to get out there and brave idiots like that lady in the restaurant. Was I a fire hazard in that empty restaurant? Perhaps. Could she have handled the situation better? Definitely. So for now, I am just going to continue rocking it out and be the honeybadger of mothers.

Snowy Day

Even though the roads were bad and trains were a mess, I trudged to work in the City today. I would rather have stayed cozy and warm under the covers! At least the walk up to the train station was super pretty from all the snow that fell overnight. How I miss snow days…watching TV with anticipation hoping “Montgomery County” is called off for school and then going out to sled the hills of Hillandale.

Another Shocking Admission.

I am starting to actually like Long Island.

WHHHATTT? I never thought it would happen, but it is slowly growing on me. Here’s why:

1) The commute to the city everyday still sucks, but it is a much happier commute now that I have my train friends, Paulina and Michelle. We love to annoy the rest of sedate train folk with our lively chatter in the mornings. And when the girls aren’t with me, I am finding new ways to make that time well spent (thanks mostly to NPR podcasts).

2) Speaking of Paulina and Michelle, it’s great to have finally built up some solid friendships. The three of us never run out of things to talk about! Having someone to run errands with, meet for brunch or drinks, or just a quiet dinner is really life-changing for me here. REALLY. LIFE. CHANGING.

3) There is so much to explore on Long Island! The plethora of state and local parks, cute towns, surprisingly tasty wineries, great beaches… I feel like I could be here a while and still not get bored with the variety of day trips that await me. Looks at all the parks and recreation! I still have a long list of places I want to see.

4) Rockville Centre itself really isn’t that bad. I can walk to the gym, the grocery store, restaurants of various cuisines, the post-office, nail & hair salons, the train station and numerous fun bars and pubs. I love that we have cars that get us further afield, but having the option to walk to local watering holes is excellent. PLUS, it really is a town where people can get to know you. I like that I am greeted by name at many of the places where I run errands. Its still an adjustments after living center-city in Boston and Amsterdam, but being away from the hustle and bustle has a few advantages.

5)I wanted to have a 5th element here, since a list of 4 things really isn’t that impressive. But seriously, it’s all working out just fine over here, despite all the wedding/family stress of late. I don’t know that I will ever feel like NY is my “home”, since in a lot of ways I feel more like an outsider here than I did living abroad. Maybe that just takes a little more time. And since there’s no plan to move anywhere else in the short term, I guess we’ll find out if that’s true or not!

August already?

Sad. I can’t believe it is already August 1st. I don’t feel like the summer has even begun yet since the weather has been consistantly so terrible. Rain rain rain. Even now as I type this (from my dad’s boat docked in Huntington), I can hear the rain outside. It is really pissing me off. I keep wanting to yell in the mode of Samuel Jackson on Snakes on a Plane: “I’ve had it with this motherfucking rain this motherfucking summer!” (sorry for the profanity, kids).

I have not even accomplished half of my list of things to accomplish this summer.

But tomorrow, while taking advantage of the parental units in town, we are going wedding dress shopping. YAY! Ok, I admit, that YAY is somewhat forced since I am sort of dreading this process. Why, you ask?

1) Wedding dresses are supremely overpriced.
2) I don’t want to deal with any bullshit games where they rip out the tags showing the designer, play silly negotiation games, or over promise and under deliver. Why are alterations so costly if you are having just minor changes made? I don’t get it.
3) I am worried that I will either hate every style, or just hate how every style looks on me in particular.

We’ll see how it goes. I am expecting the worst and praying for the best, so I figure I really can’t lose here. Just hoping for a sunny day tomorrow so I don’t look like a wet cat trying on those dresses.

Why LI?

As you know, I’ve had the opportunity to live for lengthy periods of time abroad, and have been lucky to travel to something like 35 countries around the world. Where have I experienced the biggest culture shock? Japan? India? Vietnam? Nope. Try Long Island.

Once you see the evidence below, you’ll understand exactly why.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Long Island Wants to Secede
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Jason Jones in Iran

Summer List.

Here is a list of 20 things I would like to do this summer, in no order of importance:

1) Go to the beach– a lot! (if it ever stops raining, that is)
2) Go to 10 new restaurants
3) Some kind of boat activity: kayak, row, intertube, raft, etc.
4) Go fishing!
5) See a game at Fenway Park
6) have at least 3 picnics on our roof (shh, don’t tell! we aren’t supposed to)
7) 3 trips to Boston to see my new niece and nephew
8) Boat through NYC harbor with my parents (not really fair, this is happening on Friday!)
9) Buy fresh produce at one of those stands by the road in rural long island
10) Speaking of rural long island, I want to check out at least 5 of the vineyards
11) Go back to this place for a drink, or even stay the night. So cool!
12) Get on a bike
13) Lounge on the Esplanade
14) Go back to Ellis Island
15) Take another cooking class
16) See Montauk
17) Buy a wedding dress (not really looking forward to that process)
18) Figure out why there are no mini-golf courses in Long Island. Must find one.
19) Roof deck bar visits to the Empire Hotel, the Gansevoort, and maybe that one in LIC I’ve been meaning to try.
20). 2 words: Beer Garden.

New Friend!

It goes without saying that making friends as an adult, especially in suburban America, is not as easy as one would think. At least that’s the case for me. Since moving here to Long Island, I have made one new good friend, and I consider that quite the accomplishment, especially since we weren’t introduced by other people or some other easy path to aquaintancy (I made that word up). I met Michelle on the commuter train we both take to Manhattan every day around the same time. It was a slow courtship, I didn’t want to scare her off. But now, I think we are on solid friend territory. We do things together like take coooking classes and watch award shows, which surely constitutes a friendship.

For some months Michelle and I have noticed another woman that we think we would like to add to our train friendship. Often we sit near her, and she is always dressed in something fabulous, and can really carry some good accessories. I particularly covet a beautiful ring she has of polished pink quartz set in a chunky silver band. I first noticed her because of that ring and the distinct feeling I wanted to rip it off her finger for myself. You could say it was love at first sight.

There are two rows of chairs in every train car that face each other, perfect for conversation, and often Michelle and I find ourselves sitting across from the fabulous woman. And this past week it happened: we talked to her. Her name is Paulina, she is roughly our age (mid-late 30s), originally from Ecuador, and living on Long Island since she was a teenager. Full of energy and fun to talk to– I think I am on the road to having a second friend here. Sweet! Getting from casual train-appropriate small talk to that first “friend date” is so tenuous, though. I don’t want to just blurt out, heyyouwannahavebrunchwithmethisweekend? In some kind of desperation. She is cool, well traveled, and sophisticated. I gotta time it just right.

My Love/Hate Relationship with New York City.

On the topic of New York City.

It has been 2.5 years since I moved to New York to be with Damir. I can hardly believe it! It all is passing so quickly… I also can’t believe I am now 35, didn’t I JUST turn 30? But that’s a topic for another day.

I can’t decide if I like New York. I think this is odd because most people I know either LOVE LOVE LOVE it or HATE HATE HATE it. I am somewhere in the middle.

Some mornings, crossing through Times Square on my way to the office, I feel a jolt of energy with all the lights, activity and energy. The Square isn’t usually yet crowded with tourists, just busy New Yorkers going from here to there. I usually have my ipod blaring something to get my blood flowing, and I just feel good.

The evenings, crossing Times Square to go home, are a little different. The sidewalks are packed with slow-walkers, and now it is dark, and I am usually in a rush to catch my train. My thought is: I just want to get out of here.

I sometimes stay in the city after work and on weekends to actually enjoy the city, but not nearly as much as I should. I have always been a bit of a homebody in that way. Our little hamlet here in Long Island is growing on me, and already I am looking forward to a summer spent on the very nice beaches we have out here. I will take the beach over the crowded streets on any day. Though usually after I spend extra time just enjoying the city, I usually think, that was nice.

Damir and I sometimes talk about moving into the city. 2 Years ago, just after arriving in Long Island, I would have jumped at the chance. And today, I probably would too, though I would miss my favorite Sushi place around the corner, and my dry cleaner, nail technician, coffee server, and pharmacist who all know me by name.

What I really hate about New York is this attitude that many New Yorkers have that THIS IS THE BEST AND ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD WORTH LIVING AND IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH ME GO FUCK YOURSELF.

I want to respond, well, yes, it’s got a lot going for it, but you need to get out every once in a while. See some other places. Live in some other places. You might be surprised. That snobbery just turns me off, as does just about anyone who thinks they are holding the best in their hand and nothing else could ever compare. EVER.

Oh, and the cost of stuff. I hate that too.

I never wanted to live in New York. I always said that. And its still funny to me that it’s where I have ended up for now. I don’t see us staying here indefinitely, but for the forseeable future, this is where we are and I have to make the best of it. But I know that years down the road, from the porch of my beautiful and cozy home with a view of the water, I will be glad for the experience.

The Dimishing Light

I am already in a panic in anticipation of November 2nd, when we turn our clocks back, and sun will be set by 4:49pm. Damn, that’s early.

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to figure it out, but I think I have seasonal affective disorder. As soon as the light starts to go, I get so lethargic, crave carbs, and just want to sleep. Oh, and I turn into a werewolf bitch. Well, not really a bitch, I just get very sullen, and tend to withdraw from friends and family. My focus turns inward, picking at all the imperfections in me and my life. And when I get bored of picking at myself, I tend to pick on poor Damir. He is a saint though, and manages it (me) with grace, patience and love.

Looking back, this has been going on for years, and I find it pretty incredible I never picked up on the pattern, or at least took the possibility seriously. The problem is that once I hit that slide, it is really hard for me to bounce back into my happy-go-lucky self once spring arrives. Some years I have been more successful than others. Other years have been…well. Readers who know me in “real life” know what happens.

I think living on Long Island compounds this somewhat. In the summer we have the beautiful beaches, which give us endless days of relaxation and happiness. In the winter we have… the mall? I don’t like to spend too much of my weekend days cooped up at home, but wintertime provides few diversions.

My research says I should sit in front of some kind of light box for like an hour a day. Who has time for that? I see some faux sunlight lamps on sale at, but they seem like a scam. Does anyone have any experience with this? Send advice please.

So, how’d it go?

Some of you may be aware that when I get super stressed, or have a mission to accomplish, I get a little… um, what’s the word… bitchy. Demanding and unreasonable would also be accurate adjectives. I have a vision how how things should be done, and lord get out of the way if you don’t share that vision.

I know, I am working on it. Really.

Saturday morning was one of those mornings. Damir and I had a lot to accomplish in a relatively short amount of time, coupled with my stress of bringing my parents over to see our abode and meet Damir’s parents for the first time. There were a few not-so-pretty moments on my behalf. But thankfully Damir rocked it out of the park and did the bulk of the dirty work (all the food shopping, prep, and some last minute minor household repairs) so I could have time to shower, get to Oyster Bay to meet my parents, and have some quality time with them before bringing them over.

Have I mentioned lately that I love this guy?

Sadly Damir’s mom had to work unexpectedly, so it was just my parents, Damir’s Dad and a few cousins that live in the neighborhood who were instrumental in keeping the translated conversation going. Damir made an amazing seafood stew and a bevy of tasty appetizers. And there was wine, of which I could not partake, since I was driving the crew back to the boat in Oyster Bay after dinner.

Everyone agreed it was a success. My one and only regret is that I didn’t have the presence of mind to take a picture of everyone. Sad.

The rest of the weekend was relaxed, spent lounging on the boat. I got to have an extra evening with my parents last night since high winds kept them from sailing on to their next stop. I really enjoyed having some one-on-one time with them.