updates from the bradfields

03 Jul 08 …And Baby Makes Five!

Dave and I are proud to announce that we are expecting our third baby girl in December. Merry Christmas!

Marley and Nicole are looking forward to having a baby sister and we’re thrilled our family is growing.

The thought of being outnumbered by kids is a little daunting for me and Dave, though. Once we started thinking about it (yes, I know, it’s too late for thinking now…), we realized that becoming a family of five sure changes a lot of things.

Here are a couple of examples:

Travel – with three kids in car seats, we will now have to use two cabs to get us to and from the airport, unless we’re lucky enough to find one of the elusive NYC yellowcab minivans.

This brings me to a car of our own. When we move back to Toronto, we’ll need to buy a car. When I was twentysomething and carefree, I swore I’d never own a “dad car” or minivan. Those days are over, my friends. All I can say is that I’m glad we’ve done our part for the environment these past couple of years by not owning a car, because we’re heading down the road to gas-guzzling, carbon footprint town. We are looking at all hybrid options and hope the car companies will be offering more choices soon.

Another reality with having three girls is the need for washroom space. We’re planning to renovate our Toronto house and my first words to Dave when we found out we’re having a girl were “Now we definitely need a master bath.” My mom will tell you stories of how she grew up near the Danforth with her sister and 4 brothers and they only had one tiny washroom. I believe her it works, but I’m not up for finding out for myself. My mom didn’t live with a clothes-horse husband or a four-year-old who’s already obsessed with dresses, ponytails and lip balm. One or two extra washrooms will add years to my life.

Of course, these are all minor, logistical issues that I’m sure we’ll tackle effectively. A growing family is a wonderful thing. We can’t wait!

06 May 08 So many bloggable moments

Considering what Dave does for a living, we don’t update our blog as often as we should. I have to confess that this is mostly my problem. While I’m the one with more spare time, I have a strange neurosis when it comes to sharing my thoughts in written form. I’ve always loved writing, but even when I did it as a career, I hoarded my pieces until the last possible minute, unable to let them be read by others for fear that they weren’t perfect enough, or witty enough, or grammatically correct. Due to this craziness, so many bloggable moments pass us by without being shared with you. So, I thought I’d share a few of our most recent adventures with you today.

  • Dave and I recently spent an evening at a star-studded fundraiser for the New York City Food Bank. It was tons of fun. There were too many stars there to mention, but the highlights for me were meeting Michael Stipe from REM, seeing several celebrity chefs, meeting Gwyneth Paltrow’s mom, Blythe Danner, and taking a photo with Tom Colicchio of Bravo tv’s Top Chef. We’ll post photos soon.
  • Speaking of celebrity, the New York lifestyle must be rubbing off on us. The other day, as Nicole and I were walking in our neighbourhood, Nicole was stalked by the paparazzi. OK, it was just one guy with a wide-lens camera, but he snapped several photos of her, even as we continued moving, until he looked up and saw me. I guess one of the local celebrity moms must have been shopping in a store nearby. Once he realized who we were (or weren’t), he stepped back into his hiding spot and continued talking to his friend.
  • Last week, while attending a Verve concert in a theatre inside Madison Square Garden, we were able to sneak into one of the Rangers’ last playoff games. We only saw the first few minutes of the second period, but it was pretty fun to be there. As we all know, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a live playoff game. Maybe next year.
  • With the demise of the last standing Canadian hockey team in this year’s playoffs, I’ve been reminiscing about what it means to be a Canadian hockey fan. We saw a handful of Devils and Rangers games this season and at the most recent Devils game, I spent much of my time observing a pre-teen girl sitting in front of us. She was proudly wearing her Jersey colours and had a contagious passion for the game. She reminded me of my younger self, who was lucky enough to attend Maple Leaf games almost every Saturday. This girl’s passion and knowledge of the game made me realize that being a Maple Leaf fan is a part of who I am, as crazy as that sounds. And I’m not the only one. There are millions of Maple Leaf fans out there whose passion alone should be enough to catapult the team to the top. Alas, we must dig deep to find the patience to match the passion. Someone, please, please tell me, when will it happen?

Ciao for now.

02 Feb 08 Star struck in NYC

There are a lot of unique things about living in New York City, not the least of which is the number of celebrities roaming the streets, just living life like the rest of us. No one bothers them and no paparazzi crowd them. It’s pretty neat. Since we moved here last year, I’ve had a few star encounters. I hit Steve Buscemi with my stroller while exiting my local bagel shop. Just yesterday, I pushed Marley in a swing next to Maggie and baby Gyllenhaal. I missed Brooke Shields by minutes one day in SoHo. Who knows who else I’ve walked passed, bumped into or seen without my even knowing it.

I don’t consider myself particularly starstruck. I have some friends (ahem, Meghan, Nancy) who would DIE to meet some of these people. So, imagine my surprise when after having locked eyes with Gwyneth Paltrow at Citibabes, an ultra-hip kids gym in SoHo, I found myself thinking what it would be like to be her friend. I don’t mean just thinking about it that day or the next, but for a full week or so. Like I don’t have other things to worry about.

Here’s how my fantasy friendship would go: I’d smile with a mother’s understanding when she’s trying unsuccessfully to get Apple and Moses bundled up for the cold walk to their limo. She’d roll her eyes and ask “are your kids the same way?” I’d say “yes!” and our common ground would be laid. I’d tell her some of my tricks to get the kids to cooperate (yelling, threatening, general crazy mama stuff) and we’d commiserate about having 2 kids under 4 and how our husbands are always travelling. She’d finally get her brood ready, thanks to my great advice, and ask if I’d like to meet up some time. I’d say yes – nonchalantly, of course, like any good New Yorker would do.

We’d meet for lunch a few days later. To be fair, I’d tell her what I know about her – you know, the usual stuff a total stranger knows about you when you’re a celebrity, like how she won an Oscar and how she lost her dad a few years ago. To keep things equal, I’d tell her the same stuff about me – the awards I’ve won (all-round student in grade 8!) and what my family’s like.

I’d also tell her about Dave, of course, because I know a lot about her husband, Chris Martin. I wouldn’t mention that my phone’s ringtone is him singing “Yellow”. Or that we played that song in the church at our wedding. Until she knows me better, that might creep her out. I also wouldn’t mention that Dave and I joked before we moved here that maybe we could use Nicole to infiltrate Moses’ playgroup so we could meet Gwyneth and Chris. I wouldn’t want to make my new friend too uncomfortable.

We’d have a great lunch. I would eat twice as much as she does, of course, but we’d find a lot in common nonetheless. In the coming months, we’d see each other as her busy filmmaking schedule would allow. We’d even get Dave and Chris together a couple of times and Chris would really dig Dave’s music. Marley and Apple would become fast friends. They’d all love to visit quiet Brooklyn for my home cooked meals. We’d eat out at Manhattan restaurants we’d never get into if we didn’t know the Paltrow-Martins.

Now, what if we really do become friends? I’m at Citibabes for Marley’s French class every Friday. It’s possible I’ll see Gwyneth again.

This blog post might seal the deal. Or it quite possibly could make me a stalker in her eyes. Oh well – I wonder if Steve Buscemi needs any friends?

28 Oct 07 Thanks For The Win, Boys

Riding the New York City subway with our Leafs jerseys was pretty isolating. Miles and miles of track and no other blue and white to be seen.

It was more comforting as we approached Madison Square Garden and saw other Leaf fans. We all nodded and smiled at each other with an understanding that happens only between people who love their team despite…well, despite a lot of things.

We sang O Canada with pride and settled in for our first live game of the season, confident that only the others sporting the blue and white knew the true meaning of “fan.”

Photo credit: Canadian PressHowever, the greatest thing we discovered is that Rangers fans are true blue, too. They razzed us about the cold north, drowned out all “Go Leafs Go” rallies with energetic, unified “boos” and congratulated us when their team lost (yay Leafs!). It’s nice to watch the game you love surrounded by others who love it, too, even if they’re cheering against you.

What a great game and a great night! We were thrilled to spend some time with our friend Topher, who made the trip from Toronto with some friends, and connected with John Moore, a friend of Karyn’s from high school, who was sitting in a section filled entirely with Canadians who live in New York.

Our jerseys are ready to go for Friday’s game against New Jersey at The Rock, the brand new Devils arena. Let’s make it two for two, boys – we deserve it!

You gotta love a city with three NHL teams. Can life get any better?

21 Sep 07 NYC Walk for Down Syndrome

On September 30, Dave, Karyn, Marley, Nicole and Aunt Angela will walk in the NYC Buddy Walk in support of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).

Thanks to everyone who’s already pledged me or Dave. It’s not too late if you want to donate – just visit our pledge page.

Through Nicole’s therapy, we’ve seen first-hand the benefits of the education, advocacy and research funded by the NDSS. We’ve had lots of ups and downs over the past year, but Nicole’s recent achievements have been especially exciting. Thanks to the support of her amazing therapists, Jane and Robyn, she is:

  • Sitting up with increased stability, reaching for and playing with her toys;
  • Eating solid food, including many finger foods, and gaining weight;
  • Displaying the ability to problem solve by moving in different directions when she can’t reach something;
  • Using her hands to speak, mastering the signs for “give me” and “more” and waving goodbye; and
  • Saying “bye bye” (which was also Marley’s first word!)

There really are so many developmental stages that we just assume our kids are going to reach. This past year, I’ve learned about how amazing the human body and brain are and how much we take for granted. Nicole will achieve everything she needs in her own time and on her own terms, just like all kids. Her therapy is ensuring she has the strength and the knowledge when she’s ready, and we’re so grateful to have it.

We’ll let you know how the Buddy Walk goes – it’s sure to be a great day!