Meet Finn! He arrived on August 31st and we’ve spent the last month getting to know each other. It’s been an interesting, challenging, joyful, and exhausting experience transitioning to being a family of four. But on the whole, things feel wonderfully, magically complete. Four feels right for us.
And so, this is my attempt to zip some thoughts out into the universe. It took me a week to write because I was only able to do it in 15-minute increments, and was made possible by my Solly wrap, since Finn is proving as nap resistant as his big sis Lilly was. Onward! Here’s what I’m loving right now (besides this perfect lil guy):
Getting out of town: We just got back from our first two-kid trip upstate and it was completely magical. We went to Livingston Manor in the Western Catskills (where we got married four years ago), and visited all our spots (here’s an old newsletter with some faves). We rented a house through Western Sullivan Properties, which partners with the owners of Foster Supply Hospitality, who run the area’s best hotels, including The Arnold House, where we had our Friday night celebration. It’s been amazing seeing the growth of this perfect little town.
Solly-ing around the neighborhood: My friend Gina introduced me to the Solly wrap when I had Lilly and it was life-changing—not only did it allow me (and Rob, as he’s a card-carrying #dadswhowrap member) to venture out with her when she was a peanut but it was also indispensable for getting her to nap. With Finn, it’s been a similar story and I’m going to be sad when he’s too big for it. (Note: I know there are other brands but Solly works for me so I haven’t tried them; Rachel loves her Boppy carrier, which has snaps to make it easier to put on).
Baby stashing: Our first few nights with Finn were extra tough because he wouldn’t sleep unless he was being held. After consulting a few friends, we bought a DockATot on the theory that he wanted to feel snuggled and protected—and it worked. We’ve since transitioned him to the bassinet but use it constantly during the day (he’s basically tabletop decor during any meal). Yes, it’s a glorified pillow and expensive for what it is; I’m still thrilled we have it.
Listening on repeat: I have a big soft spot for country music, especially female artists (miss you, Dixie Chicks) so the Highwomen is right up my alley. The powerhouse group is made up women who are all stars in their own right and the album is excellent start to finish—plus as this Vulture piece explains, they’re indicative of a broader cultural moment.
Lunchbox strategizing: Lilly started school the week after Finn was born so our second big transition was getting out the door with a toddler and her backpack each day. We also have to send lunch and snacks, which was initially stressful but that I’m taking as a challenge. We got her a cute Bentgo lunchbox that she loves and then use Stasher bags (“‘nack packs” according to Lilly) for snacks. I also started a short-lived spreadsheet of meal ideas to help with planning before pivoting to saving each day’s lunches to Instagram highlights. Some of our early wins: turkey-ricotta meatballs (make extra and store in freezer); turkey burgers; veggie-full frittata; pita and hummus; dried mulberries and seeds (nut-free school); and plenty of frozen peas 🙂
Falling for muffins, finally: I’ve never been a muffin person but I gave these superhero muffins ago after reading about them in Jenny Rosenstrach’s back-to-school NYT piece. They’re gluten-free and made with almond flour, zucchini, carrots, spices, and maple syrup, and so, so good. I froze them individually so I can grab them whenever Lilly or I need a quick snack, and it’s time to make another batch—this time a double.
Back to school shopping: Kids grow fast, who knew?! I just restocked Lilly with basics from Zara and Primary, which have become our go-to’s for cute, durable clothes. I also bought her a new pair of See Kai Run high-top sneakers (metallic rose gold if you were wondering)—they’re pricey but wear extremely well and are great for year-round gallivanting.
Bubbsi evangelizing: I wrote about discovering this coconut-oil-based skincare line in my last newsletter and have since become a true convert. Lilly is obsessed with the adorable animal-shaped bottles (she asks for Bubbsi every night during bath time) and I’ve been using the shampoo and balm on Finn as well—I swear they’ve helped stave off cradle cap and keep his baby acne in check.
Stealing Rob’s style: While I’m on baby leave, my style is squarely “Brooklyn parent casual,” which means leggings or jeans, plus cool sneakers and sweatshirts. To that end, I recently bought a pair of Jak sneakers, a Portuguese brand of sleek leather shoes that Rob found earlier this year. They come in a range of colors and are basically Common Projects at a fraction of the price. He’s also a longtime Alex Mill fan (simple, well-cut basics by Mickey Drexler’s son) and I just realized they also sell women’s clothes. I picked up this slouchy-cool sweatshirt and cropped sweater and plan to wear them nonstop until spring.
Catching up on reading: So far Finn’s favorite place to nap is on top of me or Rob, which is a good excuse to get in some Kindle reading. I just finished The Testaments, Margaret Atwood’s fast-paced sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale—it’s definitely less heart-gouging than the original and more entertaining than you feel like it should be. I’m also loving Ann Patchett’s latest, The Dutch House. She’s a writer I’ll come back to again and again (if you haven’t read Bel Canto, pick it up immediately) because she has a light, effortless way with words and creates worlds you want to fall into.
That’s all for now–happy October and see you soon!