Wed 6 Nov 2013
Mon 9 Sep 2013
My brother Vinnie got married this weekend to Audrey, one of my favorite people in the world. Needless to say, it was an incredible event in all levels. I still feel a little like a truck hit me this morning, two days out. It was worth it though.
Here are a few photos taken by Nora, who learned how to take pictures with my iPhone this weekend, and put her new skills to use while we were getting ready the day of.
Thu 29 Aug 2013
I know I haven’t written in awhile, so I thought that instead of trying to play catch-up with you, my lovely six or seven readers, I would instead start right here, today, in our house.
Where, just an hour ago, I realized that this was the last day I’d spend with both of my kids at home before they went off to school for the year. Nora, to kindergarten (KINDERGARTEN!!!!) and Gabe to a three-times-a-week preschool program for two-year-olds, which he is very excited about for the time being, and which he calls, “Gabey’s school.” He may become less excited when he realizes J and I won’t be attending with him. Time will tell.
But back to the point, I was putting Gabe down for his afternoon nap, thinking about this, and got a little teary-eyed realizing the inevitable for all parents of young kids: that they are growing up, and will continue to do so. That they will start doing things like homework and sharing private jokes with friends that we don’t get at all. What’s more, they don’t care if we get it.
That my little boy, who still proclaims loudly – and often – that he, “LOVES diapers,” may indeed remain a baby for awhile longer, but certainly not forever. Because you know what else he loves? Women.
And that, despite craving a bit more freedom after spending most of this summer with my children, that freedom is – suddenly and oh so surprisingly – right around the corner.
The end of summer is, as I find so often, a bit of a strange and bittersweet time. This year is especially so as we are anticipating potential newness; J, ending his postdoc, has begun the permanent job search. Which means we are not sure what – or where – lies ahead.
The salve, of course, is that all the potential newness is exciting, too. I’ve always liked fall, both for its weather its sense of new beginnings, never able to escape the feel of the school calendar even when I was no longer attending. Technically the season is still a few weeks away, but symbolically, this is where it starts.
Now, of course, we’re in it all the way with our two tiny and eager students, and I can’t get enough of their enthusiasm. Or, in the younger one’s case, a sense of good-natured obliviousness about it all; he’s only two, after all. Still a baby, really. For now, anyway.
Mon 24 Jun 2013
1. 8:43 p.m., Monday. Everyone in this house, including my husband, is asleep, except me. Do I a) also sleep b) plow through some more of Dan Brown’s “Inferno,” thus learning more than a person could ever possibly wish to learn about Florentine history c) watch 5-7 episodes of “The West Wing”?
2. Summer goals time!
3. Today my two-year-old son counted to “eleventeen.” So. Genius.
4. I’m leaning towards “also sleep.”
5. I have a LOT of thoughts about being 35-years-old, and if you are lucky enough, I will
whine incessantly share them with you.
Wed 24 Apr 2013
Back in 2010, you’ll recall, I wrote about an amazing family vacation in Emerald Isle, NC, where we saw dolphins and had cocktails and went swimming and ate Pop-Tarts. Big emphasis on the Pop-Tarts.
Well, just last week we did it again. Same house. An even bigger crew (meaning even more socializing, and hands on deck to help out with the kids) and more Pop-Tarts.
The trip was, once again, amazing, and perhaps even more than it was the first time around, badly needed. While I’m still spending a fair deal of time at home these days, I’m also doing a fair deal of freelance writing. So I’ve been busy from sun-up (or, to be more exact, first-child-up) to sundown (which is, let’s be honest, when I put on my pajama pants and call it a day) and I was truly ready for a break.
Because of that, I was lamenting the trip’s end before it even began. So when it did end, I had a bit of a comedic breakdown. Every song seemed meaningful. Every piece of bacon seemed like my last. It was time to get organized again (or, maybe organized for the first time is more like it). It was time to stop eating everything in sight. It was time to return to what sometimes feels like a taxing work schedule. Hey, I’ll take working over not working, but after a few months of regular output, professional stress has become less of a novel and welcome feeling to me. Now it just manifests as plain old, regular stress.
That’s ok, though, because I’ve always felt that stressful situations are good impetus to change your life for the better. Maybe you need a new daily schedule! Or to clean out your desk! Maybe you need a new fitness regime! I love the promise of those ideas.
And that’s usually how I’ve dealt with the end of great vacations. I’ve switched it up a bit, or planned something exciting. I think that’s part of a vacation does: it energizes you for something new.
The difference at this stage of me and J’s life is that we’re on the brink of a LOT of new things, at least potentially. As he finishes up his post-doc, we will be thinking about what’s next. Including new jobs and a whole new place to live, maybe. It’s both scary and exciting, but most of all – for me at least – it’s unsettling. I’m constantly on guard regarding my emotions; if I’m feeling in love with New Haven, I’m careful not to love it too much. When I talk to people about places they’ve lived, I’m overwhelmed with the details – the places, colors, pros and cons – in their stories.
So what I’m trying to do is convince myself that not knowing what’s next is good. That we’re on the brink of a million exciting things, whether that means new things here, or new things somewhere else. Our vacation was a chance to stop worrying about the routine parts of our life, and also to stop worrying about these bigger issues.
Now that we’re back, it’s game on. It feels better to admit that there’s a lot to think about rather than utter my normal refrain, “Well, we’ll see what happens.” So, people: there’s a lot to think about. Thanks to the beach, and our family and eating shameful amounts of refined sugar without guilt, I am rested and ready to plan.
Thu 4 Apr 2013
Yesterday, as so often happens to me in the afternoon – and by “afternoon” I mean anywhere at all from 12:30 to 4 pm, so there’s a lot to work with here – I suddenly deflated, my mind incapable of anything but focusing on specific desires to read celebrity gossip and eat processed sweet treats, to take my pants off and replace them with softer, gentler pants without goddamn buttons and zippers, I mean, come on!
I know this is a common feeling among a good deal of the population. It’s the “afternoon slump” or whatever you choose to call it. It’s the reason we all need a siesta in our workday. Or, you know, to have our workdays end at 3 o’clock. Or, say, a little earlier.
The problem with me, is while I do have childcare some days and some days not, what I don’t ever have is an office and, perhaps more importantly, other people watching and judging what I do with my so-called “workday.” So if I want to have the sweets and do the pants-taking-off thing, no one is really gonna say anything.
I’ve learned, however, that succumbing to these desires inevitably leads to feeling not terrific about myself. Afternoon eating of your child’s leftover Valentine’s Day loot makes you feel bad, is something I am finally ready to admit.
So I texted my brother a complaint about my afternoon loss of inspiration knowing that he, as he likes to do, would tell me to shut up. Or get over it. Or calm down.
Instead, though – I guess he was feeling gracious – he wrote back that afternoons like this one were good for “sunny beers time.” Or exercise. And that everything was awesome. So, rather than a swift, harsh kick, which I thought I needed, I got an upbeat pep-talk, which I think I needed more.
Of course, as I had to plow through a few more to-do items that kept me tied to my computer, I didn’t have beers, or go for a nice long run. I had an espresso, which is almost always the correct answer to the afternoon slump. But the time is coming for suggestions like my brother’s. Here in the Northeast, the winter plods on, but spring, I am waiting, anxious for coat-free expeditions and afternoons so perfect that we are convinced to simply leave work behind.
Mon 25 Feb 2013
Lauren Conrad’s (that’s right) 30-minute workout. It might not look that impressive written out, but put it in action – and keep in mind you repeat this sequence three times – and it’s pretty serious business. I did this yesterday and today I feel like someone beat me all over my body with a stick so, a) it’s effective and b) I’m a really tough lady.
Getting in bed before nine p.m., which I did on one occasion last week and am not ashamed about it in the slightest.
The coconut-scented shampoo I bought recently, which reminds me of places that are not Connecticut in the winter (as in minus the dirty snow piles and random ice storms, and plus palm trees and the need for sunscreen). I used to like the winter. I swear I did.
The West Wing. I don’t know what exactly possessed me to start watching this television drama (which came out in 1999 by the way) except that I had a few discussions with people who were fans, had always heard it was a great show, and I love – love – politically-themed entertainment. So it seemed like a good bet. It totally lived up to the hype. Now well into the first season, I love this show more than I have loved a show in a long time. I also may or may not be in love with a few of the characters. And may or may not have openly wept at an episode I watched recently. I told you, I’m a sucker for political stuff…
The prospect of growing an indoor herb garden, which I’m planning on trying out soon (with guidance from the internet, obviously).
Mon 11 Feb 2013
Trusty Pavement shirt
Will we make it through the storm?
You might need a wash.
Bod, you like doughnuts?
And also no exercise?
Good, we’re in luck then.
Snow snow snow snow snow
Ice ice ice ice ice, no plows
You guys want some wine?
Tue 5 Feb 2013
Gabriel, unlike his big sister, is rather interested (understatement) in doing things for himself. I don’t mean to say that Nora’s lazy or overly dependent, but let’s just say she could choose to have people dress her head to toe while she was still lying in bed in the morning? Yeah, she’d choose that.
Her brother, meanwhile, has truly adopted the role of second child, attempting everything on his own because, first of all, he sees the rest of the family doing it, and second of all, because, face it, sometimes we don’t have time to deal with his non-essential needs; so we’ll find him catapulting himself into his high chair when he’s hungry, trying to put his own socks and shoes on (and failing, and then throwing himself on the floor, protesting the sheer agony of life) and taking his own diapers off from time to time (my least favorite).
His longings for the “grown up” life extend to what we’re eating, drinking and watching sometimes, too, which is why he’s had his fair share of juice already (whereas I got away with giving Nora only water and milk for a long, long time) and why he knows all the Dora characters. And possibly some of the “Downton Abbey” ones, too. I mean, maybe.
His latest obsession is coffee, and he’ll saunter over in the morning, point to my or J’s mug and say, “Mommy’s coffee,” (or “Daddy’s”) and then he’ll continue, nice and quiet and smiling, trying to charm your ass off, “Have some?”
And I’m like, “You’re adorable. No way.” And, because he’s 22-months-old, the pleasant demeanor disappears just like that. What comes next is more along the lines of, “Have some?! MOMMY! HAVE SOME?!”
Which might work in some circumstances. Hey, sometimes you’ve gotta pick your battles. But I’m not going to give a baby any coffee, so this isn’t one of them.
So I was completely amused to discover Gabe behind the living room armchair the other day – the space has been designated his “house,” and even approved of by Nora (her house is behind the guitar stand, prime real estate I guess so she doesn’t care) – playing with a plastic tea set. He was making pouring noises as he tilted the tea pot over a cup, then pretending to drink.
I leaned in close (but made sure he didn’t see me watching him) and was just in time to hear him saying solemnly to himself, “Gabey’s coffee.”
Fri 1 Feb 2013
…a) I am tired, not because of my children, no, but because of staying up later than I should to watch old episodes of “Arrested Development” or the occasional episode of “Sons of Anarchy,” which J is watching because he’s really into it, and I am sometimes watching, because, holy hell, that guy who plays Jax
b) I have been pretty busy (evidence: here is something I wrote recently for the Daily Nutmeg about the airport near our house, and here’s another one about a cemetery and a ghost, and here’s another one that made some Catholics angry, that I wrote for The Huffington Post
c) social media distracts me when I could be doing more productive things
d) all of the above
D! It’s D! And I’m going to try hard to change the situation, because it’s certainly possible to do a little more writing than I’m already doing, especially if I cut back just a little on other things, like the twitter feed or the television. Except maybe not Jax. I mean, he and I aren’t over-committed anyway. It’s real casual.