Saturday, October 23, 2004

Hard decisions? Not really. 

My career has always been really important to me, and I quite honestly never much thought of life with a baby. Up until recently, I imagined myself a total career woman, and never thought it that big a deal to have my baby taken care of by someone else daily. I am weird; I actually enjoy the working world.

Now that Isabella has been born, my perspective has completely changed. Isabella is the first baby I’ve ever been exposed to or taken care of, so I had a STEEP learning curve. When I consider the monumental changes going on in Isabella’s life, and how much my presence means to her, I can’t justify those clients being more important than my baby. Can you say – I “get it” now?

Taking care of a baby is mostly wonderful. I consider myself really lucky to be able to choose to stay home with Isabella. But it is also hands down the most exhausting job you can have. I know that my life would be easier if I worked part time – I would actually get some time to myself! It’s hard to understand this until you actually take care of a baby 24/7. Taking care of an infant is no cake walk. I miss having a leisurely meal where I am not scarfing down my food, and having time in the middle of the day to just – you know – breathe.

Rich works long hours and barely sees the baby during the weekdays. Can you imagine if I also had a typical post-MBA job and worked that many hours too? Then Isabella would never see either of her parents, and be effectively raised by a stranger. And you mean so much to the baby now. As Joseph Campbell said, "To the whole world you might be just one person, but to one person you might just be the whole world." And, to me that is really sad. I am at home because I want someone who loves and cares about Isabella to care for her. She is going through so many amazing changes that I think it important for her to be raised by her parents who will be as excited about them as she is, and for us to be there for her.

At the same time, as much as I hated the idea of a stranger looking after my baby, I had to bite the bullet and hire some help. It has taken me a long time to admit that I am totally stressed and am effectively a single mother during the weekdays. Despite many people insisting that I needed to hire help, I kept hoping that I could handle it. But the truth of the matter is, for my own sanity and to be “fresh” for Isabella, I need to force myself to get a break. In the long run, this will only make me a better mother for Isabella. (We'll see how it goes since it's only 1 day a week)

So, nine months in and I am still learning, with so much to learn still. But what a fun adventure this has been and continues to be!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Seattle notes 

We were in Seattle this weekend for a wedding celebration. Here are the recommendations we got for dining, mostly in or near downtown. We only got to go to Afrikando, but perhaps on a future trip, these notes will be handy...


Sea Garden
Great Chinese seafood, child friendly.
Make reservation for group.
International District (south of downtown): 509 7TH Ave S, 206-623-2100

Afrikando West African Cuisine
Good Senegalese food (stuffed chicken w/rice, etc.)
Fun, casual atmosphere but small space
Belltown: 2904 First Avenue, 206-374-9714

Palace Kitchen
Might be too bar-focused for Isabella but has good food and a fun atmosphere, and is very close to the Westin (Marc & Yuriko's hotel).
Downtown: 2030 Fifth Ave, 206-448-2001

Il Fornaio
Chain restaurant, but good chow
Isabella would prefer to sit downstairs; upstairs is stuffier
Downtown: 600 Pine Street, 206-264-0994
(In Pacific Place, corner of 6th & Olive, ground floor)

Zeek's Pizza
Casual, family-friendly.
Belltown: 419 Denny Way, 206-285-8646

Wild Ginger
Upscale casual; great food, and a Seattle classic
Best to reserve. Sorry, probably not Isabella's favorite
Downtown: 1401 3rd Ave, 206-623-4450


Top Gun
Bad name, good dim sum!
International District (south of downtown): 606 S Weller St, 206-623-6606

No-frills, diner-ish; can accomodate big groups; baby-friendly Our favorite place to read the Sun paper (since it's 3 blocks from our
Belltown: 2619 1st Ave, 206-728-1648

Coastal Kitchen
Fun for brunch, featuring cuisine from different regions on
a rotating basis. May have to wait or call to reserve if possible Capitol Hill (east of downtown): 429 15th Ave E, 206-322-1145

Terry's 14 Carrot Cafe
Again, a fun brunch place. May have to wait or
call ahead - if they'll take reservations.
Eastlake (northeast of downtown): 2305 Eastlake Ave E, 206-324-1442