30 November, 2009


Until this past weekend, the last time I remember singing "Amazing Grace" was at the funeral for my Grandma Ayers. I have a hazy memory of that day... but I strongly remember how difficult it was to get through that song. I had to focus on only my singing - not the emotion of the day - just to get my voice to sound half-way decent and not simply weep through it. My father's parents held such a special place in my heart & it's bittersweet to be having my first child, knowing that she'll never get to meet those wonderful people.

But, as always, life's circle keeps spinning and going 'round...

This weekend, at our baby shower, we sang "Amazing Grace" again. And this time - with a room full of people that I love dearly - I didn't even try to sing well... I had no choice but to let the emotion of the moment take over and I cried with the best of them. And as I listened to the words and saw my own parents, I realized that they will be my daughter's Grandma & Grandpa Ayers. And although she'll not know the exact grandparents I had - she'll know my parents, her grandparents. And there will be a bond between the three of them that's just as special.

Ah, Life. You're so wonderful.

28 November, 2009


... for the quiet morning kitchen moment between just me and dad; for the bustling in the house as 7 of us tried to get ready in time with just 1 bathroom; for the classic blunder of forgetting the key to let us into the hall when 17 of us miraculously showed up at exactly the same time; for families meeting other families and everyone - 5 different clans that all seemed 1 family that day - getting along like old friends; for the grace that made me cry; for delicious food prepared with love; for cornhole and fierce competition; for rock band and raw talent; for the moment between just me and mom when she felt the baby move; for a thanksgiving to remember with blessings too rich to count.

24 November, 2009


Road trip to Ohio tomorrow!

Can't get there fast enough :)

It all starts in 8 hours...

23 November, 2009


One of the questions in my pregnancy diary (yep, I've got one) is "What is the nicest thing a stranger has done for you recently?" I could never think of something more original than "given up his/her seat for me on the subway" ... which, of course, is nice - but I wanted something better.

Well, this morning, a little old lady in our neighborhood won the prize. She passed us slowly as we were walking down the sidewalk, clothed in dark colors & heavy coat, in her babushka and with shuffling feet - she couldn't have been more than 5 feet tall. She looked at me, pointed to my belly, then crossed her fingers on one hand with a knowing smile... and was on her way.

I smiled back and managed a quiet "thank you" before my eyes glazed over with tears. Sweet & simple with no words, but a lot of meaning. Now that's one for the diary.

21 November, 2009


Okay, so it's definitely not as defined as this picture... but I can now see our baby moving while she's still inside me. And she moves. A lot! I feel she has a strong personality already and she lets us know by her movements. When I'm not keeping my posture at its best and sitting at the computer a bit hunched over, she forcefully reminds me that she needs more space! And I get swift couple of kicks to the ribs that makes my chest jump as if I had a sudden violent attack of hiccups. When I'm relaxing with my feet up and my hands on my tummy, she moves into a more comfortable position too - and if I remove my hands and just stay still, I can see movements in my mid-section that seem too unreal to believe. And at night, when we play music to her, sometimes she moves around and sometimes she doesn't - guess it depends on what she likes :)


We've got childbirth class number 2 under our belts... it was all about the labor process & hopefully we'll retain at least some of the knowledge by the time we go to the hospital! We learned about back labor (painful), stimulation of labor, induction of labor, medications in labor (specifically the popular epidural), and the transition phase of labor (the hardest & shortest part).

When I look up the word "labor", 80% of the definitions and examples have to do with work - hard work, the working class. There are only 2 entries that say anything about contractions and childbirth. But I think this example seems to wrap it up best in my mind: "physical or mental work, especially that of a hard or fatiguing kind". We watched a video of 3 different women in labor and by then end - including the woman who had an epidural - they all looked like they had been through exhausting physical and mental work.

The other thing I noticed was that they all had a supportive partner to lean on (sometimes to actually lean on!)... and I am so glad and proud and blessed to have my own partner there with me every step of the way - during these months of pregnancy, during every doctor appointment, during these classes - making me laugh, helping me cry, supporting me in every way he knows how. And I know he'll be an amazing person to labor with when the time comes...

17 November, 2009


We've hit the point where we're officially "getting close" to baby Grace's due date: we've started scheduling OB appointments a mere 2 weeks apart during December, and then once every week in January (every week until she gets here, that is!). We've already scheduled our next six doctor visits... and although it seems like we're being prepared and planning it just right, I know that Grace will come on her own schedule. Perhaps I should surrender to that now instead of getting too wrapped up in my Google Calendar.

16 November, 2009


Well. We're on it. Our first day care wait list.

Yes, it's only November. Yes, Grace is not even born yet. Yes, the earliest spot this particular day care (which we love) has is for April 1st. No, that's not an April Fool's joke.


A night of networking at The Vineyard this evening... walked away with 3 business cards, plans to have a lunch date with a potential new springBOARD member, and a demo CD from a self-promoting composer (good for that guy - it's hard to hand out your own projects all over NYC!). Although I wasn't quite in the mood for it when I woke up this morning, I do love getting together with other young theatre professionals who are working every day - just like me - to create or produce or direct or somehow be a part of the theatre they want to see. It can be very inspiring. Thanks to all who came out to support us tonight!

15 November, 2009


Usually I'm not the person that people at flea markets talk to... I don't seem to inspire the person behind the table of knickknacks to strike up conversation, or to suggest something I might like to buy. Until today - when I went to my first flea market as a pregnant woman.

I was even with a few friends, one of whom had much more interest (and success!) finding treasures than I did. But no matter - the baby belly calls out to people; and those people had things that they thought I should surely have as well: a Winnie-the-Pooh collection, a pregnancy tank top, a Name Your Baby book. Offers galore. At only a few dollars each, I suppose I could've walked out of there with lots of goodies...

14 November, 2009


To start a day here at Martha's with a delightful friend, and end the day here at Sunswick with other delightful friends, and in-between have nothing but couch and nap time with my beau watching this, and this (yes... really), and making dinner - well, that's what I'd call a gloriously restful Saturday.

12 November, 2009


To do: begin childbirth classes... check!

I am pleased to announce that we've made it through our first childbirth class - the introductory class. The class that felt a bit more like middle school sex education than an adult course to help funnel your anxiety into positive, calming action. But overall, I claim it as a success. We did a "Dear Baby" note writing exercise (during which we were the only couple who didn't say that we were nervous), a group discussion about what we hoped to learn in the class, we seemed to pass by "Lamaze" rather quickly with only a few breathing examples, talked about the stages of labor, did a few relaxation techniques (which reminded me of a combination of acting and yoga classes I've had...) and then watched a video.

Mostly what I remember from the class was not the new things I learned, or the notes I took, or the reinforcement of knowledge I already had... but it was the feeling of comparing myself - our couple - to the other 8 or so couples in the room... and seeing how we stacked up!

10 November, 2009


How nice it is to come home to someone who can get excited with you about things... it's a feeling I haven't been able to enjoy in a significant other before, at least not on a true & deep level. It is so encouraging to sit in the living room, graze on dinner, and just talk for an hour or two about things that excite us - work, family, creative projects. That give & take, that complimentary conversation, seems so simple and yet can be one of the hardest things to obtain... but the ability to ignite a spark in someone you love - and to have them spark you right back - well, that is a beautiful thing and surly one not to be taken for granted.

09 November, 2009


Late nights at our place can become a bit slap-happy... we get giggly, for lack of a more adult term. We crack each other up with little things. Here's a glimpse into this evening's funniest moment...

J: It's gonna be so weird when I'm outnumbered by women in our house.
R: I know. What if we had another little girl next... you'd be like your mom, but reversed.
J: Yeah - then I'll at least need a male dog to hang out with.

Moments later, he sits down at his giant 24 inch MAC... and he starts scrolling through the random play on his iTunes, not stopping until he finds something he likes... and all of a sudden I hear familiar lyrics from my childhood: "Look at this stuff. Isn't it neat. Wouldn't you think my collection's complete..."

R: (laughs in admiration)
J: What?

(the Disney song plays out, and after it ends)

J: I love that song.


R: You know... I don't think it will be weird for you to be outnumbered by girls.

08 November, 2009


The best parenting advice I've received so far (from someone who's not my own parent or relative) is this... being a parent is like being a circus trainer (stay with me, here!).

You have the responsibility to lead them across the tightrope - but you can't actually do it with them, they have to cross from one side of that rope to the other on their own. You can hold their hand on the ground, and you can work with them as they are only a few inches off the floor, but eventually they'll get up into the air. And they will fall - at first a lot, and then a little less as they gain their own balance, and then they'll make it successfully all the way to the other side. And as long as there's a net & an encouraging trainer (read: "parent" for both of those things) then they can get up and try again, and again, without fear.

07 November, 2009

I HEART NY: The Movie

I might get to be a small part of this indie documentary film. I've been working with this director (on the left) - he's 1 of 7 New Yorkers being followed around by a camera crew. He's expecting twins about a month before I'm due... so we've been working on this play together while we're both expecting. Pretty cool.

06 November, 2009


It's as if I've suddenly become pregnant. I know it's been slowly creeping up on me these past 6-7 months, and I was just thinking to myself recently that I haven't had any of the stereotypical pregnancy symptoms yet: cravings, mood swings, trouble sleeping, soreness - and then...

Jumping into action, all of these things and more have made themselves aware this past week. Now, I'd like it noted on my record that this week was a particularly busy week - but aren't they all? So I can't think of any excuses for my condition other than the crazy, wonderful miracle that's growing rapidly every day and causing all these delightful side effects.

People keep commenting that I've "popped" and now "you look really pregnant!"... maternity tops that I bought just a month or two ago barely cover my expanding mid-section... I get more winded when climbing the subway stairs... my back is feeling the extra pressure of supporting my ever-growing front... all I want to eat are carbs - pasta, cereal, oatmeal, rice, peanut butter sandwiches, waffles, potatoes... I wake up at least twice every night, taking a while to readjust into a "comfortable" sleeping position... and thankfully, the only moodiness I seem to be noticing is the tired mood, when I immediately want to lay down (and luckily, most of the time, it's at the end of the day when I can - without too much drama!).

And the funny thing is - even though I sometimes, more often than not, feel like my body is not my own anymore - I still love it. I love every aching moment.


A huge congrats to the company of THE UNDERSTUDY who opened last night to a packed house of adoring family, friends & fans. It was a wonderfully successful evening and I am so proud to have been a part of this production.

Of them all, I think this is my favorite review of the show: from the Wall Street Journal. "A raucously funny farce"... "a little masterpiece of comic clockwork" ... "the three-person cast is a string of theatrical pearls." Enjoy!

04 November, 2009


I can't wait to take Grace here in about 4 years. And then again. And again. What a perfect place to have tea and scones with a friend this evening - and what a perfect "only in New York" kind of place to take your daughter someday...

02 November, 2009


I'm very proud of MPG for this interview. I think it takes a lot to admit when you don't know something - a courage that many of us deny ourselves, often nodding our heads when people throw out names or phrases we have no clue about... (I do it all the time when friends of mine toss around big musical theatre names, instead of risking the shocking response of "You don't know who so-and-so is? Wasn't that your MAJOR in college?!")

01 November, 2009


We spent several hours - a total of 5, I think, between 2 services - at this church today: Grace Church.

It was gorgeous & so was the music... which is why we were there.

And the name's not too shabby, either.