play dates and pull & pray

They’re almost three-months-old, gestationally, so it seemed fitting to include them in the six-month-old play date, considering by the time they’re two, they’ll have finally caught up.  These are the kids with whom Lucas and Abigail will be in school one day, and these are their moms.  It was wonderful being around a group of mothers I could relate to.  Women with schedules, lives, and hair appointments who seemed to have struck a balance in the who comes first scenario.  Finally, a great group of women: educated, smart, put-together.  Normal!  I can’t wait to host the play date over here.  Hopefully our furniture will make it out of the NY warehouse in time.  Conversation at the play date spanned from “Princess class” (a summer class where girls do art projects, and I assume, learn to adjust their tiaras) to the “Pull and Pray” method.  “I mean, what are you girls doing now about birth control?”  This was not princess class, so details were shared, not in whispers, but in laughs.  “You have to be careful.  I know way too many IUD babies.”  I felt right at home.  "And to be sure, he’s getting a V."  And surprisingly with all this talk of vasectomies and the anti-pill, Lucas and Abigail refrained from crying, both wide-eyed, watching in amazement as the other babies did pilates.      



  1. A friend of mine had a four month old who got kicked out of baby yoga for being too aggressive.

    What's that all about?

  2. oh my god. That is a room full of adorable. Is it sadistic that my favorite pics are the crying babies? :-)

    You look just beautiful, by the way.

  3. I'm glad you found a really great sounding playgroup for you guys!

    You dress the both of them SO adorably!

  4. Great pictures, and great to see you finding new opportunities to socialize. I love taking my 9-month old on playdates (although they are mostly for the moms at this point). Unfortunately, whenever I take him to Mommy and Me yoga or the gym class, he ends up with a cold :(
    Anyway, enjoy the fun moments of motherhood! And thanks for sharing the pictures.

  5. Wow, that is the WASPiest looking group of women I have ever seen. Welcome to Stepford-ville…(no judgment here though)

  6. Can you explain gestational age? All the preemies I know are aged by when they were actually born, and measured against their birthdate peers? Whats the difference? (Forgive the ignorance). Does a 6 month old born 3 mos premature act like a 3 mos old or a 6 mos old?

  7. I know a few people who assumed that your blog would change too much with all your life changes to keep us unmarried and childless readers interested. On the contrary, I think you're putting some of the most reassuring images out there for us not-yet-moms. Despite all you went through to have those beans and all the hard times you've been generous enough to share with us, at every turn you make it seem less scary. It's so encouraging to see you so different but so the same. Bravo!

  8. Wow – you had twins only a few months ago and look THAT good?! Way to go! And the pics of the babies are just adorable. It looks like you're all playing with little dolls!

  9. Good for you Stephanie!!! How did you hook up with these group of women and children? And yes, after having children, it is AMAZING what suddenly becomes appropriate conversation!! :) Nothing is taboo. Vasectomy? For some reason I was under the impression you maybe wanted one more? Or was it just my 'hope' that someone else would be in the 3-child category like me? BTW… when I was having my duo, (via c-section), I had the doc tie things up so to speak. Then again, I'm old :) Glad you enjoyed yourself. Now I'm off to view your pics.

  10. So, how does it work when you post pictures of other people and their children — do you ask them if that is okay with them? I just set up a website for family members and friends to keep tabs on the baby we are expecting soon, but I am sticking to private viewing only… but was wondering what you do about that issue, since I'm guessing not everybody you meet is so anxious to have their lives shared with strangers.

  11. I don't get this:

    "the who comes first scenario"

    Isnt the answer – the kid(s)?

    I enjoy the selflessness that motherhood requires.

  12. Lucas and Abigail are getting cuter with every moment and motherhood seems to suit you really well.

  13. Ahh the days of being a SAHM! I miss them so. What a wonderful feeling to be around others that understand exactly how you feel. I am sure after feeling like an alien for so long you might have a twinge of immediate sisterhood with these women. It can happen and it's ok. Breathe in the feeling of contentment, breathe in the feeling of wanting to be part of this. Change is essential and good and is part of what makes babies such a miracle.. they mold us more than we ever think we can mold them….

  14. I'm sort of new to reading your blog and I am sure you have mentioned it before, but I was wondering what your camera of choice is. Your photos are beautiful.

  15. Too cute! I love all the peach fuzz heads. So glad to see that you and the babies have a play group now. It's like group therapy. No subject is taboo. Guarantee, you'll be laughing a lot. It helps to be w/ other moms who "get it". How did you meet them?

  16. Hi, love the pics, you are a stone cold foxy momma. My question is are you eligible for the bloggers choice awards. If so we, your public and loud fingered band of sisters should/would all vote for you.

  17. All awesome questions. I'll try to respond (but not to the one about who comes first, "mom or baby?" because I've already written about this).

    Really long story long on how I met this group: When I lived in NY one of my best friends, DULCE (for those of you who've read my memoir), was updating her high school information for an upcoming reunion. On the web site, she uploaded a recent photo (and she happened to be posing with me). That month, I had written an article in Jane Magazine, and my photo appeared in the contributors section of the magazine. A woman from her high school named Natalie was clicking through the reunion site and saw the photo of us, and thought, "wait, I saw that redhead in Jane." Then she checked out my site, saw that I was moving to Austin and emailed saying she'd love to show me around. So, I became good friends with Nat once I moved here, and wouldn't you know, she then decided to up and move… to NYC. BUT, she left me in good hands. HER SISTER'S. This is the wild bit. At an OBGYN appointment, in the waiting room, sitting across from a woman who reminded me of Natalie, I said to Phil, "I need to call Natalie," and the woman across from me looked up and said, "that's my sister." We were both pregnant at the same time… so SHE invited me to the play group. And I think she's just the bee's knees.

    Gestational Age: So Lucas and Abigail were due Feb. 13, but they came early on Dec. 7. Using this logic, by Feb. 13 they would have been fully cooked (40 weeks gestation), but they came early at 30 weeks gestation. SO, you don't start counting their real age until they reach that 40 week gestation. So in my case, since they came 10 weeks early (a bit over 2 months), you subtract that time from their real age according to the day they were actually born. So, even though technically, they're 5 months old now, their ADJUSTED AGE is 3 months old, so we compare them to other 3 month old babies, not the babies who were born in December. Supposedly by the time they're 2 years old, they should catch up with the kids who were also born in December (not with the kids born in February), which is very peculiar. But that's the way it goes.

    As for the top: Got it at Anthropologie.

    How does it work when you post photos of other people's kids?: I asked their permission before I did it. It's only right. They're children and cannot speak up for themselves. And if they could, they'd complain, "But wait, I was eating a block in that photo. Can't she post a different one?"

    As for Blogger Choice Awards, I never get involved in that stuff or pay attention to it. I don't know why. I just never think about those things until they're over anyway.

    I shoot with a Nikon D100, but the above photos I did not take. I sometimes use Phil's Canon 20D. Honestly, any digital SLR that enables you to change lenses is probably fine. Just know once you buy into a brand, there's no turning back.

    About having more babies: No, Phil did not get a V. We don't know if we'll have more. I can't even think about it now. We'll see how we're feeling in 3 or 4 years. Ask me then.

    And finally, yes, Senor Lucas is finally smiling for us. And we cannot get enough of it.

  18. This reminds me of a joke I once heard.

    Q: What do you call couples who use the rhythm method?

    A: Parents!

    Careful with that pull and pray, Steph. As your audience, we were on the edge of our seats with these two beans; we like your stability, no more praying for a while, 'kay? :-)

    C, IUDs are not always reliable as birth control devices. Hence the saying, "He/she was an IUD baby," meaning the baby wasn't planned.

    Those pics look like you had a lot of fun! Motherhood agrees with you.

  19. Oh – now I'm smiling too – so happy to hear that Lucas has decided that life is worth being jolly about. They are too precious – and yes, you look fantastic.

    So glad you have found a group of moms to share some time with – baby days are magical.

    Thanks for sharing.

  20. I just meant a group of women talking about IUD babies and the "pull and pray" method must not have had to struggle with conceiving their children.

  21. Abigail looks more like Phil in these pictures. They're both adorable, and you look great. I have a friend who got pregnant again 6 weeks after delivering her first. Whoa.

  22. OMG babies are cute. TG my husband has a V or I'd have a couple more.

    By the way, my son was a "pull and pray." Do you think it didn't work because I don't believe in prayer?

  23. Speaking of fertility issues and the ol' "pull and pray" . . . one of my coworkers struggled with fertility, and eventually had twins. I don't know if it's science or psychological, but it seemed to have jump-started her fertility, because she found herself pregnant again within a year!

    I didn't know that about calculating gestational age. Maybe the beans can twist that into getting two birthdays when they get older.

  24. Hi stephanie,

    I'm a new-ish reader to your blog (very much enjoy it) and i think you look radiant in those photos. what's your makeup routine? what do you wear? i am sure it is also your natural beauty shining through, but i'd still love to know.

  25. I'm pretty much a silent reader – but I'm glad to see you're getting out with your children and that they're getting some play time with others. I'm sure it's good for babies and mom!

    I've always read your blog with great interest, relating to many of your Linus stories. I have a little terrier myself who is quite the handful and am always wondering how Linus is and how he has adapted to his new digs. I know the children are your focus now – but I was just worried about the little guy is he doing well?

  26. Hi Stephanie,

    This play group looks wonderful! Quick question for you — where did you find the alphabet wall hanging and crib bumpers for your babies' room? (the babies are beautiful, btw.)

    Thanks in advance.

  27. OMG, I was totally cracking up at these photos because that was my life 9 years ago! Holy shit that makes me feel old. The babies are all adorable, but I have to say that Mr. Manic was leaning over my shoulder checking out the mommy's ta-ta's!!!

  28. As far as "pull and pray"…my boyfriend and I have done this for 4 years with not a single scare. He is worried about his "boys", but I honestly feel that we have not gotten pregnant because it isn't time for us to start a family yet. Or he just has really good timing and control… ;-)

  29. hi,
    i havent been able to read this in a VERY VERY long time. And my first thought was how VERY big, healthy and beautiful the babies are now. i last read about them and saw them as the little newborns that were in the hospital and now they appear to be thriving.
    may God continue to bless you all! They're beautiful

  30. Stephanie,

    Big fan. Enjoyed the book.

    I posted a comment about 2 months ago about disability insurance. I hope you found that comment, and this comment, practical.

    Don't withold sex. My best friend's mom, who has the HAPPIEST marriage says never to withold it. When times are the worst, give them the most sex.
    Coincidently, my Aunt Kathy, also in a good marriage, also gave me the same advice.

    What's the worst: Stress, Work Pressures, Lack of Money, Trying families times. They're all in there.

    I've applied this tactic/strategy to my current relationship. I'm in the best relationship of my life. I had sort of given up because I was convinced I'd be living alone on the planet Venus. Now John and I are cruising the galaxy together. It's the most communicative relationship I've ever been in.

    Playing the cold-hearted, uninterested sex role won't get you anywhere. The best conversations are had post-coital (sp?) You're more eloquent, stable and relaxed then. You'll be able to hold your ground better. He won't be watching tv/reading the newspaper or whatever he does. All attention will be on you. You've just made him happy, and besides the great sex that you hopefully enjoyed, you'll be heard and understood too.

    -Sister Practical

    FROM STEPHANIE: I didn't even realize I was doing it. I had to think about it, think about why when he initiated, I would put it off. It wasn't because I wasn't in the mood. It was because I was angry and didn't even realize I was angry. But we talked about it, and I realized I was pissed/hurt/rejected when I initiated and on some subconscious level, I wanted him to feel the way I did. Like, screw you (or not), see how it feels to be turned away. I wasn't doing it intentionally hoping to gain something. It wasn't a conscious manipulation hoping to gain the upper hand. It was my way of claiming things on my own terms, but to my own detriment considering I did want sex. So there you have it.

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