Many dog owners feel like their pets are like their children — and your brain seems to think so, too. In a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital investigated differences in brain activity when women volunteers viewed pictures of their dogs, their children, and unfamiliar dogs and children. What they found suggests that the bond between human and pup tugs at some of the same heartstrings — or rather, brainstrings — as the bond between mother and child.
Yes! So much so that when I contemplate if we want one child or two, our dog and cat are totally part of the equation. We already have a family of four, soon to be five … will we really need a sixth?
(Also, you can take one child all around the world, to fancy dinners and anywhere you please. Two? Not so much.)
Hi Nora, I recall your pre-pregnancy love for Tracy Anderson -- have you worked out to her 'Pregnancy Project' workouts?
Hi! Yes I have and I recommend them. She’s very sweetly supportive of the whole miracle-of-life thing and it feels like having a personal cheerleader, plus the workouts are reasonably challenging. I also did a very Tracy-esque form of Pilates ‘til my stomach just got too cumbersome.
But tbh I haven’t done the Pregnancy Project DVDs nearly as often as I ought to, and without my usual super-sweaty cardio … yeesh my ass and thighs are not a pretty sight (just caught an unwelcome glance as I was getting into the shower, still trying to forget it).
It’s a blessing/curse that my wedding is scheduled less than 8 months after she’s born — and the dress will be made from scratch sometime between there, which means the sooner I can get into some semblance of shape, the better the fittings will go.
Weight loss and major toning will be on the menu.
But until then? Cheeseburgers. Cheeseburgers will be on the menu.
Aka Nora will be gainfully employed for years to come ;)
"Mayor de Blasio Commits to 80 Percent Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050,” said the Sunday news release, outlining what would be a truly impressive feat if he actually were able to make good on that promise. But there is not going to be any 89-year-old, 10-term mayor named de Blasio declaring a local victory in the battle to save the planet. This is a long march to a distant goal. The commitment Mr. de Blasio made over the weekend — an excellent and necessary one — was to do his part now to keep the city moving in the right direction: Promised Land, that way. […]
Mr. de Blasio’s plan focuses on making the city’s buildings more energy-efficient, through strict regulations on new buildings and retrofitting existing ones, particularly the crumbling stock of public-housing apartments. This is just where the initial focus should be: residential and commercial buildings account for nearly three-fourths of the city’s carbon-dioxide emissions.
We were on a new path, or perhaps better said, we were finally on our path — and not falling off every drunken, irritable Friday night. We had a dog who we were obsessed with and brought us closer than ever, and in mid-summer, during a drive out to the North Fork, we started talking about having a baby. “You know, we could do this out of order,” he said, meaning baby before wedding, and it was the first time I had any real idea he was ready to do this with me. I was surprised, amazed, and nervous. So this is how it begins.
We tabled the discussion for the time being. I felt like we had to retreat and regroup, figure out if we were serious. I tried it out on my sister, mom, and a couple friends — soooo we’ve started talking about having a baby — and their approval, admittedly somewhat tentative, surprised me. Did they really think we were ready for this? (It’s hard to stop thinking of yourself as a 22-year-old who shouldn’t be in charge of her own life decisions — even if that was a full decade ago.)
Then the pre-engagement, the wedding contract (the huge deposit). This was happening. By the end of October, we had a date, and over the next month and a half, I can’t remember how or when or what words were said, but we started talking baby again. We started doing the math: you know, if we got pregnant by X date, the baby would be Y months old at the wedding….
I do remember that last pill. Tossing the unfinished pack away. I wasn’t yet confident enough in our decision to admit to anyone I’d done it, and it wasn’t until January that I got up the nerve to make an appointment with my gynecologist to discuss whatever pre-“trying” stuff we were supposed to discuss. I had no idea if we could get pregnant in the short time frame we’d given ourselves — or if we could at all. There were too many unknowns, and I kept it all pretty down-low.
But M. — bless him — already had a bit of that proud papa in him. That December, mere days after the last pill, at a very happy, very wine-drunk dinner at my friends’ new Connecticut home, in front of half of my closest friends and their husbands, he ting’d his glass — actually ting’d his glass — and announced, somewhat incoherently, that we had officially started trying.
I was mor.ti.fied. But also touched. He was really freaking excited and how can you be a mad at a guy for that?
And now here we are. Within sight of meeting our daughter. It is, I’m sure, the greatest decision we’ve ever made.
I look back and I realize our path was made by walking. Being in a relationship is about asking the right questions at the right time — and letting the answers light the way.
Paparazzi alert! check out the cover photo on eater's latest article on the Five Points revamp article. Love your blog and congrats on the new addition to your family!
Ok that picture is horrible and I now have way more sympathy for celebrities but more important — FIVE POINTS IS GONE??? That brunch is our go-to, you don’t even know. And yeah yeah I know they’re calling it a revamp, but new owner, new name, new cuisine … heartbreaking.
On Wednesday, in my 33rd week of pregnancy, I turn 33. That means I’ve now lived longer than my birth-mother did, a milestone in any member of the Dead Parent Club’s life. My baby is active and apparently healthy but good lord if she can’t stress me out sometimes. I’ve never been jabbed in the ribs or hurt by her kicks, something so many women talk about that I started to wonder if she’d be born limp and listless. My doctor snorted when I mentioned this.
"Honestly, when women complain about painful kicks, I wonder how they’re going to handle the birth." (This doctor can be kind of an asshole.)
And then I am a bit small for my gestation. SMALL? It doesn’t seem possible, but there it is: 2 cm short of where my belly should be, on average. And I’ve “only” gained like 21 pounds (and not for lack of carbs ‘n cheese). I look more like 28 or 30 weeks pregnant, to a practiced eye. Is she going to be born limp, listless, and woefully undersized?
The doctor appraised me.
"You’ve got those hips," she said, meaning, plenty of room down there for her to chill, far from my ribs, cozy inside the pelvis, no need to grow a huge belly.
"You’ve got a good body for pregnancy," she went on, and I swear to god I could have kissed that asshole doc.
This is exactly what I’ve thought since oh, I dunno, puberty. And this pregnancy has certainly born it out. But to hear it from a professional….
Call me naive but — I am confident. About the birth and about caring for a newborn (what I worry about in the anxious wee hours is her health, her neurological development — an entirely different matter).
“No matter how long you have been here, you are a New Yorker the first time you say, ”That used to be Munsey’s” or ”That used to be the Tic Toc Lounge.” That before the Internet cafe plugged itself in, you got your shoes resoled in the mom-and-pop operation that used to be there. You are a New Yorker when what was there before is more real and solid than what is here now.”—
He was writing this in the aftermath of 9/11 and already the Internet cafe reference is out of date — we all have smart phones now, even the recent immigrants — but the sentiment is so true. Don’t get me started about the area around Whisk & Ladle. It was a no man’s land when I first ventured there (remember this, tumblr?) and now it’s littered with Duane Reades and generic mid-price pan-Mediterranean restaurants.
“Exotic means there, not here. Them, not us. You, but definitely not me. Exotic is a word defined by the speaker’s perspective, which assumes dominance and normalcy over the person being called exotic.”—
Let it be said: All of Burning Man is a show of wealth. Tickets are $380, sure, but many of the art cars — immensely decorated buses and trucks — cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not to mention the neon furs, the metallic leggings and the lights (there were side-of-the-road hawkers at the gate who tried to sell me a rainbow stole for $80).
Standing near a party bus one night around midnight, Ryan Parks, a young entrepreneur covered in LEDs, explained the situation: “This is the height of excess,” he said, indicating the neon and fire-spewing art cars around us. “We go to the desert, where people die, to build shit we burn. TheMaslow hierarchy of needshas been met by our ancestors — so we can make art cars and websites. It’s wasteful but plants the seeds of possibility of whole new worlds.”
It’s not about tech money, because that’s nothing new. Annie Harrison — an early Burner and former writer for Wired magazine — told me, “I came out here in ’95 to cover the tech scene. It was tech-reporter catnip! Mostly stories about the lasers from Lawrence Livermore. I took a picture of a guy lighting a cigarette off a laser that my editor loved.”
But something new is happening at Burning Man: There’s now a rich neighborhood.
(Also via Ann Friedman’s newsletter; catch her on tumblr here.)
This post brought to you by reading "The Story of Land and Sea"*
I have a new theory about pregnancy anxiety — that fear at the pit of your stomach, somewhere below the kicking babe, that never leaves you. Fear about the birth, fear about the baby’s health, just plain fear.
I think it is, in part, an inherited anxiety, passed down like my almond-shaped eyes from mother, grandmother, great-great-great-grandmother.
My mother died while pregnant, yes, but good god if that wasn’t par for the course not long ago.
As a pregnant woman you stood an, oh, 10% chance, maybe even more, of dying in childbirth. It was the biggest gamble you would ever take with your health. It was Russian roulette. You might make it out alive, or you might not. A breech birth, an umbilical cord around a neck, a tear in the vagina, any number of now routine ”complications” — any of these could cause a hemorrhage and that was it. You’re dead on the delivery table, or more likely, in your bed.
I mean lord. Can you imagine being pregnant 100, 150 years ago? (Or being pregnant now without access to basic medical care?) And knowing your odds? Pregnancy would not have been this wondrous thing, a time for looking ahead, a time for imagining her little face, the life you would lead together, the things you would teach her.
Those feelings would have been there, certainly, but they would be tempered by profound uncertainty. You would, if you were rational and thoughtful, make as many provisions for your death as for your life.
So I think that’s part of what is bubbling up in me. A fear bred deep in the bones, in the genes. A survivor’s fear.
* Which you should read, absolutely — it’s a transportative, addictive tale of death and family and slavery and men and women in Revolutionary times — but if you happen to be a pregnant woman … well, it’s not a spoiler to say they (almost) all die.
… we’ve also been watching “The Knick” and good grief that first episode should come with a warning.
I've followed your site for awhile, and have recently moved to NYC. Wondering if you have any tips for a (New) New Yorker? Good dentists, doctors, gyms, etc.
Welcome! New York is just the fucking best. I hope you love it here.
I don’t particularly like my dentist but readers/friends told me the NYC dentists they love (and none of them were in my network). Maybe these work for you?
If you’re a lady, I absolutely loved my old gynecologist, Dr. Mulligan, (lots of my friends go to her — a kind of sisterhood of ladyparts), but then she also went out of network. Readers/friends suggested these as replacements. I’m currently going to CityScape, a group practice, and since I’m pregnant I am there a lot. They’re fine; professional; don’t keep you waiting; etc. If you go there, I’d recommend Dr. Rosenberg, Dr. Halpern or perhaps Dr. Warsheki, who is new to the practice.
I haven’t stepped foot in a gym since I discovered Tracy Anderson more than 6 years ago but I do take machine Pilates classes at Sal Anthony Movement Salon, the loveliest Pilates joint in the city. If you go, take one of Sylvia’s classes, which are very Tracy-esque in their challenge-level and creativity. I love her so much.
I absolutely love Tomo the handsome hairstylist, as does everyone I’ve recommended him to. He just switched over to a new salon: Kiyora. I hope he still charges $80 — my sister and I both have appointments tomorrow; I’ll update this post to let you know.
Here’s a random recommendation: it took me years of living in NYC to get up the nerve to try a Chinese massage parlor. While I can’t vouch for them all, for the most part they are clean, non-sketchy, CHEAP, and they hit the spot. I go to Nie’s on East 4th Street for regular massages.
Can you share more of your wisdoms re: insecure boy behavior? They are such a GD mystery! How can you tell an assclown from one with potential? I can burn a bridge faster than an unreturned text message. Thanks for your candor, it's medicine! xo
Candor can be medicine, can’t it? Well I don’t know if this qualifies as wisdom but I do subscribe to the he’s just not that into you philosophy. A guy who’s in it to win it is unmistakable. A guy who’s not is also unmistakable (as you said in your other message — you already know the answer to the question).
M. and I were talking about this last night and he said something he’s said often recently — I always knew we’d get married and start a family. And I knew it, too. (We uh had sex for the first time 10 years to the day after I lost my virginity and this was so significant to me because a. I am a fucking NERD and b. I knew he’d be the last.) However: we put each other through hell. I regret all the time we wasted fighting.
But through it all, I knew he wasn’t an assclown. I wasn’t 100% sure we’d ever get our shit together, but I knew we both wanted to. We always turned back to each other. Without that, it would have ended long ago.
So, either that’s happening for you now or it isn’t. You know what to do.
(And please be sure you really, really like him. That you delight in him, even. That is the most sure sign of potential I know.)
Were you ever a screwball with the menfolk? You seem so calm, confident & collected. I can't imagine you ever engaging in insecure girl behavior, like hanging around for a bad boy, or any of the other dipshit things that women sometimes do as we learn to navigate relationships.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME??
Can I direct you to this post about the time I lost my virginity to a boy and then gave him A GLASS CHERRY and then he broke up with me (the only sensible response) and I, while attempting to stalk him, knocked over a fire hydrant with my dad’s car and it cost me more than $1,000 (plus my dignity)?
Or perhaps I should tell you about my quote-unquote “first love,” freshman year of college, who also broke up with me — um, WHILE HAVING SEX WITH ME — and whom I also attempted to stalk but this time I did so by signing into his AIM account and then got totally busted when his friend saw him on it but knew he was at the library as part of a frat hazing ritual and he called me out and so I grabbed my friend Liz and we RAN to the library (skulking along the back routes) so that we could be seen in front of it, like, NOPE, COULDN’T HAVE BEEN ME.
Or any of the boys I had desperate crushes on from age 8 to 18, dressing for them, obsessing over them, cataloging their glances and passing remarks as though they could possibly mean something. (My diaries and journals from these years are an absolute treasure trove of shame, pain, and laughs-through-the-tears.)
There’s a reason my dad had to teach me the "two fingers" — because I was the girl who absolutely clobbered the boy with my feelings long before he deserved them. Or, uh, expressed any interest.
And the mistakes didn’t end there. I’ve made a slew of them with M. It took us, oh, about five years to get to a place where we feel truly secure with each other, and that had a lot to do with my insecure girl behavior — as well as his insecure boy behavior because mark my words, we are all just alike under the skin.
I don’t know anyone whose romantic history is not littered with mistakes.