Oct 23 2012
Courtesy of Stacey Ilyse.
Hey, I’m Stacey, a mom to my crazy drama queen little girl, Remy, who is almost (gasp!) 1 year old! I also happen to be a professional photographer. The lovely ladies at Kveller have so kindly brought me on board to share tips, inspiration, guidance, and more during your adventures in photographing your kiddos. I specialize in weddings and also, my passion, lifestyle family/children photography. Feel free to check out my work here.
In the meantime, have you ever wondered what the right kind of camera would be for your photo taking needs? Here are my suggestions, based purely on my preference (i.e. nobody’s paying me to say it).
I recommend two different cameras, both made by Canon. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 22 2012
“If it’s a boy, I think we’ll come for the bris,” my brother-in-law in Miami told me a few weeks ago over Skype, just before the arrival of our second baby.
As an East Coast transplant living in St. Louis, I spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy this summer acting as a part-time travel agent, navigating tricky waters to coordinate which family members would come to visit–and when. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 26 2012
Over the past year, I’ve flown a lot–way more than I would have anticipated with a new baby. Lila and I have flown up and down the East Coast and all the way to Europe. It hasn’t always been easy–especially when it’s been just us girls–but I’ve gained some useful travel tips along the way:
1. Book your baby’s ticket. Even lap infants need their own tickets. Call customer service after booking your own, because there’s typically no obvious way to do this online. If your child is under 2, she flies for free domestically, but there are taxes and fees if you fly overseas. Lila chilling on my lap added about 10% to the price for our round-trip to Geneva. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 9 2012
My eldest son turned 13 in June. We didn’t arrange a traditional bar mitzvah for him, for reasons I outlined earlier.
However, my son still became a bar mitzvah. He didn’t read from the Torah, make a speech, or hand out glow sticks to a few hundred of his closest friends. He was, nonetheless, according to Jewish law, a man.
Anyone who has met a typical, American, 13-year-old knows how ridiculous that notion is. (Though my son is a responsible boy–he navigates New York City by subway on his own, he takes his younger brother to school every morning, he babysits his siblings, and even other kids for pay, he does his homework without prompting, and earns good grades. But, a man, he is not.) Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 25 2012
So, I spent last weekend in Vegas.
Um, you might say, isn’t that a strange choice for a babymoon? Indeed it would be–but this was no babymoon. I was sans-husband, and in Vegas for a full week–longer than any human being should ever be in Vegas. Especially human beings that have another human being, almost fully formed, living in their belly. But I had a work obligation, so off to Vegas I went, just shy of eight months pregnant. Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 5 2012
Traveling overseas is intimidating. And I say this as someone whose last several international destinations have included Ghana, India, and South Africa.
I hadn’t ventured abroad since early 2010, for a fairly obvious and adorable reason. But my husband recently learned that he needed to spend nine days in Geneva for work. I didn’t like the idea of our being separated (with a toddler, four hands beat two), and Lila and I had no pressing engagements, so I suggested a family adventure. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 24 2012
Flying without my son was a totally different experience.
I was the last of my friends to go on a trip and leave her baby at home. As I saw one after another go, I thought “How can they do it?” By the time it was my turn, I thought, “How can I not do it?”
For over 15 months I had not had a 24-hour period to myself, and I was long overdue for some R&R. So off to Las Vegas I went for a birthday celebration with my BFF.
For three nights and four days, I left my sweet baby boy with my husband and his parents. Sure, I was nervous, but with the promise that my husband would send me pictures regularly and knowing what an awesome father he is, I silenced the nagging voice in my head listing all the things that could go wrong. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 9 2012
When I told people my plan for winter break was to take a week-long trip to France with my husband and our 5-month-old baby girl, the facial expressions I received from them in response were complex. They were a mix of envy (after all, who doesn’t want to go to France?), skepticism (but who would want to go to France–or even to get on an airplane–with a 5-month-old baby?), and something I’d characterize as a raised eyebrow, “Huh! Well, good luck with that.”
Well, not only did I return to tell the tale, but also, I am here to recount that we had an amazing time–even better than we expected. Baby G, aka Wonder Baby, really knocked our socks off with her general awesomeness. And France wasn’t bad either. This vacation worked beautifully for a few simple reasons, listed below.
1. French People Love Babies.
I suppose that people all over the world love babies. But the French have a particular baby-fetish going on. Perhaps it’s their aesthetic sense of everything being perfect and “just so,” or the fact that their adorable clothes look even cuter in small sizes. Who knows?
The point is that a baby is apparently the accoutrement of choice this season in France. Any snooty anti-Americanism that might have been there otherwise flew out the window when the locals caught sight of our daughter’s gummy smile. Everywhere we went, people smiled, cooed, and fluttered all over our baby… and were genuinely thoughtful. Air France’s baby bassinet let her sleep the whole night–and though I was a little bitter that the baby got the flatbed arrangement rather than me, the entire plane and I appreciated it. A waiter at breakfast saw her attempting to play with my coffee cup, and dashed over to provide a little box of cereal as a makeshift rattle. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 30 2011
For those of you who don’t read the New York Times on a regular basis, allow me to inform you that there’s a lot of hating going on about kids traveling on airplanes. This article opens with the salvo:
HORRIBLE. Annoying. Distasteful. Miserable. These are a few of the words used by readers to describe traveling with children — whether their own or someone else’s — on planes in response to my Nov. 6 article, ‘Are We There Yet? When Families Fly.’
You know those looks you think you’re getting from everyone on the plane as you board with your kids – you know, the ones where you feel like everyone on the plane wants to murder you with their plastic forks? You’re not paranoid: apparently, you’re right. Out of all the responses to the first article sent to the paper, “most wrote in to complain about how miserable it has become to fly with children on domestic airlines.”
I don’t doubt that people can hate other people’s children. I have been guilty of this myself. But I do think the sample pool here is somewhat skewed.
Imagine, if you will, the following scenario. Over a steaming cup of café latte, a couple reads the Sunday New York Times. NPR plays on the radio in the background, and the tranquility is interrupted only by the timer beep which signifies that the couple’s mozzarella and zucchini frittata is done. One member of the couple says, while reading the New York Times travel section, “I’ll tell you what’s wrong with travel…children on planes. By God, I’m going to write a letter to the editor.”
Here’s a little secret: this breakfast scenario is something bordering on a sexual fantasy for the parents of little kids. Parents of toddlers do not read the Sunday New York Times. They do not make café latte or frittatas. NPR is not happening. These sad souls, instead, are on their hands and knees in puddles of juice that emerged from insufficiently-sealed sippy cups. They are cleaning Cheerios out of cracks in the kitchen floor. And I can assure you that they would rather brush their hair or go to the bathroom than write an eloquent letter to the editor defending the rights of children and families. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 14 2011
Woman plans, God laughs.
When last we spoke, I was all overwrought about my four month old’s first “vacation” and plane flight. An hour-long plane flight to Virginia (Colonial Williamsburg, specifically) would, I was convinced, turn into an hour-long screaming poopfest. I would be the recipient of looks of pity and disgust from my fellow passengers. My husband would offer to get bumped.
That’s not really how it went down.
The day we left, I woke up Baby G at 5:30 am – yeah, that’s right, I woke up a sleeping baby, which is a violation of the Geneva Convention. She smiled at me lovingly as if to say, “Mommy, don’t worry – I’m the Perfect Baby.” She is, actually, the perfect baby. I haven’t written here about how she started sleeping through the night at four weeks old because it is the biggest keyn eyn hora anyone ever heard of, but the fact of the matter is, this kid is an absolute sweetheart. She gets it from her father.
So we schlep to the airport – me, husband, baby G, the two boys, ages 6 and 8, and my parents, who are simply the best human beings in the world. We get through security, where my mother’s hip replacement and baby G’s car seat stroller are given thorough scrutiny (you know, because both of them are aspiring terrorists). And then we find out that, thanks to the fog engulfing the New York area, our flight is cancelled. The boys’ faces crumple like Kim Kardashian’s ketubah (fine, she didn’t have a ketubah, but you get what I’m saying). Read the rest of this entry →