Wednesday, October 7, 2009


My alarm rang at 6:30 this morning. And then again at 6:38, 6:46, 6:52, 7:00 and 7:08. Then, I dragged my sorry butt out of bed, and went to fake my way through cheerful "good mornings" with my children, who were all about as happy to get out of bed this morning as I was. Unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence. As a family, we just aren't morning people.

I've had a few good mornings in my life. You know, Christmases and mornings when I'm totally jet-lagged and miraculously wake up at 6 a.m. bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. (Wow, that's a strange expression.) I love those mornings, and the lovely, long days that follow.

Inevitably, no matter how lovely, I just can't sustain mornings. The reality of watery eyes, dry mouth, stuffy nose, sore feet, and general grumpiness sets in. I sleep later than I want, I am short tempered, and then feel perpetually guilty because of it.

All that being said, my own sense of optimism prevails. Every night, I set my alarm, and vow to do better the next day. Maybe one of these days, I will.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I will use this, my first post from Utah, to take a moment and share with you my observations of this place we, once again, call home.
1. There is something about mountains that can take you away from yourself, out of the chaos of the mind and the world, and make things good. A change of perspective (literally) is always healthy.
2. There are some really rockin' new restaurants in Utah Valley. We went to Rooster for my birthday, and I stuffed myself so full of dumplings, that I didn't have the chance to try the lava cake. Must go back soon. The one thing I have yet to find is a satisfactory bagel. They say there is something about NY water that makes for the best bagel, and I'm willing to believe that.
3. Going to church here feels like being at a runway show. The hair, the makeup, the shoes, the clothes. I spend my time at church with chewed up goldfish crackers on my shoulder and my two year old's head up my skirt. (Why do kids think that lifting their mother's skirt in public is so funny?) I feel "done up" when I've got mascara on and my hair is clean. I've even on occasion been known to wear my Birkenstocks to church. I'm a little bit out of my league. I need some help from my friends at HACD.
4. Not to state the obvious but, there are A LOT of Republicans here. I'm afraid to wear my Obama on Mt. Rushmore T-shirt out in public. It's strange coming from New York where I was considered conservative to Utah where I feel like a rebellious liberal. Ah, the power of the eye of the beholder.
5. I really have to start running. Apparently, it's the thing to do. The more miles the better. Unfortunately, I don't think I could run from my front door to the mailbox, so I have some work to do.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


So, I'm one of those people who makes lists when under stress. Last night, I realized I'd reached a new low when I started making a list of the lists that I need to make. I wasn't even thinking about the list I'm secretly making for my husband. He loves those!

This afternoon, I'm feeling a little more in control. Unfortunately, it's all because I'm home with an eight year old with a nasty case of pink eye. But, having a weekday at home, actually accomplishing some items on my list (instead of just putting them on the list) has helped to calm me down.

Of course, sitting here for a few minutes has given me the time to think of three more things to put on my list. I guess I just shouldn't stop moving.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


...I won't have to wipe anyone's runny nose but my own. I can't wait for that day. Will it happen this summer when we move to a different climate, or will it only happen when my kids have reached the age where having streams of boogers pooling on their upper-lips is finally considered disgusting? Here's hoping for climate change, because my kids seem to have no sense of shame!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A confession

I have been a full-time working mom for the past 4 years. It's been a challenge. I'm constantly struggling with feelings of guilt, inadequacy, selfishness, resentment, you name it. I always feel like I'm doing things last minute and half-a*#ed. I get home everyday and the two and half hours between walking in the front door and bedtime are the longest, hardest, most anger filled hours of my day. I turn into a temper-tantrum throwing maniac. And then, I beat myself up about it because, of course, my children deserve a mother who is serene and self-controlled.

We are making a move in June that will allow me to be a stay-at-home mom. I have all sorts of visions of what things will be like. Lots of cooking healthy, delicious foods all from scratch, learning how to use a sewing machine (or at least hem my own pants), arts and crafts with my two year old, singing, reading, going for walks, and generally being perfect in every way. My deep, dark fear is that every minute of every day of my future will feel like the last few hours of my present days. Is that wrong to admit? What if I hate staying home? What if I'm bored all the time? What if I'm angry all the time?

I guess that it will continue to be about that tricky balancing act, giving my kids everything they need without giving up the things I need. Now I just need to figure out what those things are.

*** Sheesh, note to self. Don't blog on Monday nights, especially when you and the kids are all sick. You sound way too "angst-y."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Green with envy over green thumbs

We live in a little neighborhood that consists of three buidings, each with 4 townhouse units. It's a pretty idyllic spot for kids (9 of the 12 units are families with kids.) We have a playground, playing fields, a circle for bike and scooter riding, a giant woodchip pile that has provided hours of imaginative play, and a little neighborhood garden. On beautiful days like today, the kids roam around in a pack, while the moms sit outside and chat, occasionally reminding them to not eat chalk or walk in front of the swings. As our beautiful days have increased in frequency, our neighborhood gardeners have come out in force. The square of dirt that has looked depressing all winter, is starting to fill up now with tiny starter plants. I'll tell you straight up, I am no gardener. I have tremendous difficulty keeping any green thing alive. As much as I respect and admire those that do, I just don't seem to have what it takes. I've only had one pseudo-success in the garden in my entire life. I made a bold attempt with a few tomato plants last year. I kept them potted, but worked throughout the summer to nurture them along. Then, just as those green tomatoes that I had been tending so carefully began to show their first tints of orange, we sublet our townhouse for a month, and went to Utah. Our lovely tenants literally enjoyed all the fruits of my labor. This year, as much as I am itching to try again, I have to restrain myself. I can't keep an indoor plant alive for more than a few weeks. Somehow, I don't think my tomato plants would survive a cross-country move in the middle of June. Alas, I must wait for next year. Maybe then, I'll be brave enough to actually plant them in the ground.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm in love

She arrived today, all tiny and pink. My new baby!

The pink means that she's all mine. No sharing with my husband! Hip, hip, hurray!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yes, I am a New Yorker.

In my time living in New York, I have become an avid reader of the New York Times. (Actually, I started reading it while at BYU in an attempt to keep a little balance in my life.) Anyway, I'm too much of a cheapskate to actually buy a subscription to the Times and I hate having piles of recycling around. So, I check the NY Times website every morning. I've realized over the last few months, that although I read it every day, I never have any idea what's on the front page. Why on earth would I want to read about bail-out plans and water-boarding, when I can read David Pogue's technology blog, the Tuesday Science Times, and Thomas Friedman's editorials? Bono (yes of U2 fame) wrote a fantastic piece that was in last weekend's Sunday Times.

Are we focusing on "value" or "values?" And doesn't Easter bring about such masterful musings?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Two months

Moving day is less than two months away. In some ways two months sounds like a LONG time, but then I remember that my husband and I both work at a school, and I start to panic about how little time I have to get everything done.
The last two months of the school year are a blurry sprint. You come back all relaxed from spring break and then you don't breath again until June.

Keeping that in mind, we decided to tackle the attic last week. Today, it was "winter clothes." I'm ashamed that we have as much as we do, when 6 huge bags of clothing went to Goodwill this afternoon.

When we moved to New York, we drove a half empty truck and fit ourselves comfortably into a 300 square foot apartment in Morningside Heights. 9 years and 3 kids sure have loaded us up with a lot more crap.

I'm dreading the bookshelves and kitchen more than any other spaces in our house and can only blame myself for them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Do you ever...

...fall asleep at 6:30 in the evening, only to wake up at midnight with no hope of falling back to sleep anytime soon? I do. So, here I am folding laundry, watching HGTV, loading the dishwasher, and blogging. It's amazing how much more productive I am when I shouldn't be. The house is quiet and clean. My inevitably difficult morning seems worth it in the moment.

What do you do when you are inexplicably (or hormonally) awake in the middle of the night?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My guy.

So, usually I wouldn't post this entry on this blog, I'd stick it on my kid's. They have their own forum where we blog about all the wonderful things they do.

Every once in a while though, a Mom finds herself in a position where she has to share something her kid does, but she knows that that kid will die if they ever find out about it. If I posted this on the other blog, poor Harrison would eventually be unhappy about it, so I'll share this here.

Harry is almost 4. Capable as he may be, he doesn't like to get himself dressed in the morning. On this lovely Saturday morning, Harry was told to get dressed. Instead of whinging and complaining, he did this....

He had his shirt on around his ankles, but I'm a little uncomfortable posting the picture that shows that. Let's just say that it shows more than his ankles.

You gotta love a kid with a burgeoning sense of humor.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Let me just start by confessing that every morning when I get to work, I turn on my computer, check my work e-mail and then I check my Yahoo horoscope and then my google reader to see what's up in blog-land. This five minutes in the morning kind of settles me down and pushes the dread of actually being at work to the back of my mind.

Today, on this first day of Spring, I'm home with a feverish two year old, and my own sinus-infection. I was a little late in reading my horoscope but when I did, it made me laugh.

"Problems you've been having at work will be over soon. You need to think positive."

Point taken, thank you Yahoo Horoscope.

We will be making our big move back west in June, and it can't come soon enough. I'll be so grateful to be a stay-at-home mom again, although I might be singing a different tune in October!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A humiliatingly proud moment

After dinner tonight, I was trying to build a little enthusiasm for living room clean up.

Said I: All right gang, let's get this room cleaned up. Maren, you clean up the legos. Me and Harry are going to pick up the crayons.

Said Maren: No Mom, you mean "Harry and I."

It felt like a punch in the gut and a warm hug all at once.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I have a phenomenal husband. His time and opinions are much sought after. He works hard, strives to do his best, is always anxious to learn something new, and makes me laugh every day (even on days when I don't particularly want to laugh.) No matter what, his family is his top priority, and he takes the time to let us know that. Check out his fantastic blog post on our kids blog. He is, hands down, the best dad of his generation!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How did March get here so fast?

Somehow, another month has flown by. I always get to this point in the year and feel like life starts moving in fast-forward. March is always a hectic month at work, and equally hectic at home with two birthdays speeding toward me in the next three weeks. So, as I always do when I'm feeling slightly out of control, I will make a list.

Things I must do (and want to do) in March....
1. Plan "Olivia" daycare party for a 2 year old without driving myself to the point of self-critical insanity.
2. Plan & host a sleepover party for 8 year old girls without spending more money than our tax refund will allow.
3. Make 3 well-visit doctors appointments. This means not only being organized and planning ahead, but actually having all of the kids "well" at some point this month.
4. Start collecting boxes in anticipation of the big move -- but don't start packing them yet.
5. Do some "fun" reading. I just finished "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan." As much as I loved it, I need something a little bit lighter.
6. Plan primary music ahead of time so I'm not seething with resentment on Saturday nights.
7. Figure out what the strange smell coming from behind the washing machine is.
8. Stop taking a cookie after lunch every day.
9. Enjoy the company of good friends.
10. Take a picture to send into Cute Day. I try to have them, but documenting them is tough.
11. Sit down and plan out what needs to happen at work between now and June. I've checked out a bit and need to get my game on.
12. Dang it.... make a treat to send into Play Group tomorrow. Better run!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Stop complaining

The problem with taking a moment to complain about some annoying thing your kids do like I did in my last post, is that as soon as you do, something worse will happen. I guess that's Karma, huh?

While Harrison, our 4 year old, put me on the ledge by making me tired, Norah, our not-quite 2 year old, pushed me over. Does anyone else out there have a two year old who rejoices in nudity? Well, our Norah does. She can get naked in less time than I can hang up my coat and take off my shoes at the end of the day.

Now, nudity really isn't the problem for me. My problem lies in the fact that she now gets naked in her crib. I've found her naked and shivering on a couple of mornings, but two nights ago was the worst. About 2 hours after I put her to bed, Harry came downstairs to tell me that "Norah's naked, and she smells like poop."

My heart sunk, my stomach clenched, and I had a sinking feeling I knew what awaited me upstairs. Sure enough... naked Norah sitting in her crib and a very dirty diaper that had turned into a substitute for playdough and finger paint.

It's interesting to respond to a situation on so many levels; laughter, nausea, exasperation and exhaustion. But mostly, I was just peeved that it upped my cleaning chores.

Needless to say, she's wearing her PJ's that snap up the back now. She hates them, but they stay on.

I guess I need to start thinking about potty training.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Defensive Sleeping

Our four year old has the nasty habit of sneaking into bed with us in the early hours of the morning. Now, I'm grateful that he spends most of the night in his own bed. We've worked hard to get him to this point. But I have to spend a moment complaining about that little bugger's pointy-pokey knees and elbows. I find myself waking up in the morning in a defensive position, with my arms crossed across my chest, my hands in front of my face, and my knees pulled up so they form a blockade between his thrashing little body and my easily bruised limbs. Spending any amount of time trying to catch some "z's" with that kid in my bed is dangerous business. I watch my girls as they sleep, still and peaceful, and wonder why one of them can't be the one that worms their way into the parental bed.

Even when he's sleeping in his own bed, my boy is a menace!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ah, guilty pleasures

I just love watching the Oscars. As much as I enjoy the movies and the acceptance speeches and all that, it's really all about the clothes. I hope that E! does their "shoe-cam" again.

We're ordering Chinese and making a night out of it. The poor kids are going to be neglected and bored off their rockers. Is anyone else shirking their responsibilities tonight?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


1. Making school lunches for kids who go to a school with a "nut-free campus."

2. The sound of a vacuum cleaner. It gives me shivers and makes me throw temper tantrums. Such a shame, because I love the look of a freshly vacuumed carpet, but we live without that in our house.

3. The fact that my 23 month old has learned to open refrigerator. I keep finding apples with three bites taken out of them, and gnawed on string-cheeses still in their wrappers all over the house. She's fast, sneaky and unrepentant.

4. The smell of processed meat. Canned soups, sandwich meat, left-overs... anything with meat that has been previously been cooked makes me wanna barf. The remnant of three really hard pregnancies.

5. Mornings. I've always hated mornings. Somehow I ended up with a life that requires me to be at work, cheerful and ready for the day, at 8:00 am. Every morning is torture, no matter what I do.

6. Knowing that we're moving, and having to wait to start packing. I'm ready to throw things away and start selling the rest on craigslist, but we've got 4 months until I can start doing all that stuff.

7. Trying to convince a kid to take a nap all day, and then having them fall asleep 15 minutes before dinner time. I just know I'm in for an impossible night.

8. My eyebrows. I hate tweezing them, but I detest the way they look when I have them waxed in a salon. They always end up taking off too much and I look like I have tiny dashes on my forehead.

9. Cleaning the lint trap on my dryer. It's one of the badly designed ones that gets dust all over the top of the dryer when ever you pull it out. Makes me crazy.

10. Soccer on TV. I can appreciate a soccer game in real life, but on TV it's just a combination of annoying and boring (monotonous drumming, no scoring.) Sorry babe, but that's how I feel.

11. Picking up legos and playmobile. Why is every tiny piece so important that it must be saved, but not important enough to be taken care of properly? If I vacuumed, those little pieces of plastic would be toast.

12. The fact that it is so much easier to come up with a list of 12 things that I hate than it is to come up with 5 things I'm grateful for.

(Oh, and a kid who thinks that spitting is funny, it's not.)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Grateful Sunday

A few things I'm grateful for on this February day.

1. Clear, soft Long Island sunshine. I know that light is light, but there is a strange thing that happens occasionally here. The sun shines and light streams down, all diffused and shimmery. You feel like you should be able to reach out and catch the glistening light in the palms of your hands. In the middle of our grey and dreary winter, it is miraculous.

2. Children with active imaginations. It sometimes means extra clean up, but their busy brains keep them happy and engaged. Who knew that a pile of blankets and pillows at the bottom of the stairs could be such fun?

3. Wonderful neighbors who invite our family over for dinner on a day when I really didn't want to cook.

4. My dishwasher. I was without one for a few weeks a while ago and it has made my appreciation all the more great. I will love that appliance until the day I die.

5. A lovely husband who stepped up and took over when I crawled back into bed this morning and fell asleep for two hours. It's his turn now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nerd Thrill

For those of you who like a little Sudoku from time to time, have you seen the puzzle called KenKen? It's a pretty simple concept, but man it can get tricky. I did my first puzzle yesterday when it appeared in the New York Times, and I think I'm hooked. So, if your mind needs a little mathematical stretching, go play KenKen!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

baby language

Sometimes it serves me well to take a step back and take a few minutes to observe the rapid pace my at which my children grow and change. It's particularly noticeable with my soon-to-be two year old daughter.

I've really been appreciating her blossoming language skills, among many other things. A few short months ago, I would stand at the stop of the stair with her and ask "do you want me to carry you?" and she would respond "carry you."

Then, a couple of weeks ago, she started responding to my question by answering "yes, carry me."

Today, as we stood looking down the stairs, I asked again" do you want me to carry you?" to which she firmly answered "No Mommy, I can do it myself."

Growing language skills, fierce independence and little bit of attitude all in one sentence. Check out my other blog to see her in action! Aren't kids fun?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fighting Fatigue on a Friday Night

Sometimes, Friday afternoons roll around and I feel like I can't possibly contemplate doing one more single thing. I drag my sorry butt home, hide in my room for a while, and try to "gird up my loins" (my father's favorite expression) to head back into the reality that is living with 3 kids in a very small house. I'll admit that today, I was having a hard time leaving the confines of my bedroom. And then, a miracle happened.

My husband, saint that he is, stopped on his way home from work, and picked up Mexican food for dinner. Then, after dinner, he put all three kids to bed while I lounged on the couch in an enchilada stupor. To top it all off, he rented Mama Mia for me on DVD, even though he ran into people he knew at Blockbuster, who ribbed him for getting such a chick-flick. The guy just loves me, what can I say?

It's hard to indulge in crankiness when someone's being so nice to you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Since I was doing this for Facebook....

25 Random Things About Me

1. I generally don’t do tags, but I’ve gotten this one enough that I’m hoping to put an end to it by actually doing it.

2. Having grown up in Indonesia, I HATE winter and don’t think I’ll ever get over it.

3. I spent yesterday singing and dancing to “Single Ladies” with my not-quite 2 year old. She can really shake it!

4. I love to fold laundry, but hate to wash it or put it away.

5. I’m the only girl in my family and as such am entitled to favored status. Sorry boys, that’s just the truth of the matter!

6. I’ve been married for that past 12 years (well, almost.) Time flies when you’re having fun!

7. I love Marian Keyes books too (shout out to Kristen), but my real guilty pleasure is trashy romance novels. Stephanie Laurens, Lisa Kleypas, Mary Balogh, Julia Quinn… please publish something new soon!

8. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

9. I wish I had cool hair, but a ponytail is my reality.

10. I need to lose 30 pounds, but can’t figure out how to do it without having to diet and exercise.

11. I am a font of useless pop-culture information.

12. I waste money buying books instead of going to the library. My husband is an enabler.

13. Phineas and Ferb makes me laugh every time my kids watch it.

14. I have an unhealthy relationship with Diet Coke.

15. I adore Fred and Ginger movies, but haven’t seen one in 12 years (see #6).

16. I’ve been listening to Eva Cassidy a lot lately. She’s amazing.

17. The only thing that makes Sunday morning bearable for me is “The Puzzle Master Presents” on NPR.

18. I love to read Personal Finance Self Help books, but rarely take their advice.

19. I wish I played tennis. I’m a fan, but can’t find the time or free child-care needed to play.

20. I’m our Primary Music Leader at church. I can get 11 year-old boys to sing, which is pretty miraculous.

21. I’ve lived on Long Island for the past 8 years and have yet to be on a boat on the Sound. How on earth did that happen?

22. Friday night TV is my favorite. I can watch What Not to Wear and Battlestar Galactica on the same night. Two very different sides of my personality, satisfied on the same night.

23. I have the three cutest, smartest, funniest, most creative kids on the planet. No, I’m not biased. It’s just a fact.

24. I’m a sucker for a good pork chop, but chocolate is the food I couldn’t live without.

25. I have the best husband ever in the history of husbands. He loves all these crazy things about me, and many, many more.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Things I can't believe I said today...

... just don't stab your sister.

... you didn't eat any breakfast? Well, hurry up and grab some cookies and get in the car.

... I don't care what you are doing, as long as I'm not involved.

... fine don't wear your coat, you'll be freezing cold in two minutes. Don't come crying to me.

I think I need my darling husband to come home. We've been missing him, and I'm afraid the kids are going to be savages if he doesn't get back soon to balance things out here. Our "good cop/bad cop" routine doesn't work when the "good cop" is gone.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February Goals

Well, I started my year off by making small goals to accomplish in January, knowing myself well enough to know how fool-hardy lofty resolutions are. Having completed my January goals, I sit here on the first day of February and reassess.

So, here are my goals for February...

1. Exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week. I hesitate to even write that down because I find it so intimidating.

2. Create a plan to get all credit card debt paid off by the end of May. There's no way I can feel financial security with it looming (even if it isn't a lot.)

3. Finish Hot, Flat and Crowded and A Year in the World this month. I'm feeling the need for a little non-fiction.

4. Celebrate Valentine's Day. Not just say "we should do something for Valentine's Day" but actually do something.

Friday, January 30, 2009

What gets you through the week

It's been a rough week in our little world here. It seems as though the big world has caught up to us, and we're starting to feel the sting of living close to the financial center of the world.

Here are a few things that have helped me get through this week:
Evening Primrose Oil. Let's just say it keeps me balanced. Without it I'm a shrieking harridan.Drakes Yodels. They are creamy, chocolatey deliciousness. Yum.

Tuesday night with the Biggest Loser. It helps keep the yodels in check.

I listen to NPR when I'm alone in the car. It provides something different than the High School Musical 3 Soundtrack. A few weeks ago I heard this story. I sobbed in the car as I listened to it and have found it inspirational as I try to keep things in perspective.
HGTV. It helps me fall asleep at night.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I really DO know better

No matter how comfy and cosy your white athletic socks are, please remember to change them before you throw on your black leather shoes and head out for a Saturday morning of errand running. You will inevitably end up with a hem unknowingly stuck inside the leg of your jeans, and you will walk around looking a fool. Don't let yourself be lulled by the long length of your jeans, or the fact that you won't possibly see anyone you know. The universe will conspire to humiliate you and your dorky socks. Take an extra minute, run upstairs and grab hipper hosiery. You'll thank me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Hope has always been a significant word in my life. My name means hope in Russian, and it has always been a guiding force for me. I don't always have perfect faith or all-consuming optimism, but when it comes down to it, I have hope... hope that my best will be good enough, hope that my children will grow to be happy and fulfilled adults, hope that there is a plan for me that is greater than myself and hope that where we are today is only a jumping-off place for where we will someday be. Maybe that's why today has meant so much to me.

I'd like to share my favorite part of today's inauguration address...

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
(for the complete text visit

And so, today I find myself full of hope, and promising not to write anymore political blog posts.

image from

Sunday, January 18, 2009


One of my favorite activities that I indulge in after my kids have gone to bed is blog-hopping. It's always fun to pick a blog, click on their links, and see where you end up. Recently, I took a delightful blog trip. Let's recount:

I started here, on my other blog. (Take a minute and have a peak, my kids are way more fun than me!)

From there, I headed over to my Hawaiian family's blog.... Sorry I just had a wistful moment imagining myself on a warm and sunny beach in Hawaii. Back to business.

That lead me over to my Mom's cousin's blog. When I was a kid, he and my mom and all their siblings would get together and spend hours just laughing and laughing. They would throw around words like "existential" and made me want to know what they meant. That group of grown-up cousins made me realize that smart and cool really go hand in hand.

And finally, I ended up on my second-cousin's blog. She's so Euro-fabulous. We would spend those summer days listening in on the grown-ups and trying to keep the bratty little brothers and sisters from cramping our style. Then we'd go and jump on the trampoline, 'cause nobody's too grown up for a good bounce! So Amelia, that's how I found you. So glad I did.

Come and visit us in New York next time you fly stateside!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Will post more when....

... this has disappeared.

No, not the cute little girl, the laundry. Who do you think I am?

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Dirty Little Secret

I am a devoted fan of Battlestar Galactica. There, I said it. Now that it's out there, we can all move on. Season 4.5 starts tonight, and I can't wait.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Joys and Woes of Finishing a Book

Do you find yourself in the same predicament as me when you get close to finishing a book? Part of me wants to hurry and finish it, to see where the characters end up, how the author finds resolution, to have the satisfaction of closing the book and knowing its secrets. The other part doesn't want my relationships with the characters to end, doesn't want to lose the thrill of exploration, doesn't want my good excuse for ignoring my kids to be gone. I finished "Five Quarters of the Orange" and felt that same bittersweet feeling that I remember from being a kid and finishing the Little House on the Prairie series, or recently finishing Harry Potter (OK, I cried my eyes out, so sue me.) The thing that helps to wash away that wave of melancholy is knowing that I have stacks of new books to read. On to "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society." My mom says it's the best book she's read in a while.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The weekend of a working mom

When you have three kids and work full time, weekend take on an entirely different level of importance. Every second is jealously guarded. Saturday is our day to do something fun as a family. Keeping that in mind did we go and explore a winter beach, go to our fabulous Children's Museum, visit our local arboretum or even go to a movie? Of course not. Instead, I did six loads of laundry while the kids watched the Beethoven marathon on Disney. I'll spend the rest of the night trying to sneak the folded laundry into my kids drawers as they sleep. Maybe we'll go to that winter beach tomorrow. Unlikely....

Monday, January 5, 2009


One of the great things about living just outside of New York City is the opportunity it presents to dress up and spend the day watching amazing people who must have amazing lives doing what must be amazing things. Last week, I threw on my gorgeous new coat, grabbed my sweet seven year old and in we went to see the Nutcracker. Now, for some reason, whenever I take her into the city, our entire trip becomes about finding bathrooms. So, we headed into Barnes & Noble to their second floor bathroom, right next to the kids book section. As I stood there waiting for her to finish up, I noticed a woman staring at me. I naturally thought "it's 'cause my coat is SO CUTE!" She then rushed up to me and said "you're having a boy, I can always tell." I found myself stammering something about "no, I'm not pregnant, the baby's at home tonight...." then to realize that the "baby" is almost 2. How long does it count as baby weight? Needless to say, I've been buttoning up that cute coat a lot more since then. Ouch.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Don't tell anyone, but I really hate Sundays. I spend the entire week trying not to think about them and then breathe a huge sigh of relief when Sunday afternoon comes and I've survived another week. It must have something to do with sitting alone on the pew with my three kids who all turn into raving maniacs as soon as the organ starts.

So, rather than wasting anymore of my time dwelling on something that makes me wanna cuss, I'm going to try and be productive. About 12 years ago, Oprah (who I inspire to be) introduced the world to the idea of a gratitude journal. I faithfully kept my journal for a few months and then I got engaged and didn't have time anymore for things like journals, instead time went to a wedding, honeymoon, husband, school, work, baby, work, baby, work, baby, work, work, work.... That being said, I thought I'd try to take some time this Sunday afternoon to list 5 things I'm thankful for on this January Sabbath day.

1. Star Wars Galactic Hero toys. Nothing else keeps my three year old occupied for HOURS at a time. They are a miracle.
2. The giant quilt that Grandma-great made us as a wedding present. 11 years later, it's still the best thing to curl up under on a Sunday afternoon.
3. The guy sleeping under that quilt right now. He's the best thing that has ever happened to me.
4. Advair. The stuff's amazing, trust me.
5. Diet Coke. It was on my list 12 years ago, it's on my list today.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fills My Heart with Gladness

Most of the time, I kind of feel like I'm faking my way through motherhood. Like someday the parenting police are going to crash through my door and say "you have NO IDEA what you're doing... your son cannot eat another peanut butter sandwich for dinner."

Every once in a while though, I catch a glimpse of my success. My seven-year-old stretched out on a sunny spot on the couch, reading her book on a Saturday afternoon. That's success.