Friday, December 26, 2014

Just finished knitting a sweater. Very happy with how it came out :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

One of Zoe's teachers (a "permanent floater") made hats for all the children. Zoe's hat is very cute. I noticed she incorporated pink. One of the teachers calls her "Pinkalicious."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pineapple upside down cake

I just put some pineapple upside down cake. It reminds me of our trip to Hawaii. This restaurant near our hotel had it. My recipe is very simple: you melt some butter in the oven, mix in some brown sugar, put in some pineapple slices, then pour some cake mix on top.

I wish it didn't take so long to get to Hawaii.

We got an invitation to a party this weekend. Last weekend, the host and hostess were sick with a stomach virus. I wonder if it's the same one we had, and if we should go to the party.


We have our annual Christmas stomach virus. Also found out that my sister-in-law is pregnant (this will be Baby #2).

Monday, September 29, 2014

Trader Joe pumpkin pancake mix

The Trader Joe pumpkin pancake mix is always in big demand. It hits the shelves in the fall. When I was at Trader Joe's recently, I spotted a guy in their trademark shirt and asked him, "Is the pumpkin pancake mix out yet?"

He glanced around and lowered his voice nervously. "If it's not out, I can't give it to you yet. But it should be out later tonight."

"Okay," I said, feeling like we had been discussing some popular but very illicit drug.

At a different Trader Joe's, I found the pumpkin pancake mix - but in a different form! Alas, it was now gluten free. I bought it anyway and tried it. The kids and I liked it (D doesn't eat pumpkin). But it flies off the shelves equally fast.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Highline

Recently they finished final construction on the Highline (to the tune of $34 million). We decided to explore the new section today.

It was a beautiful day. We are having a three-day Indian summer.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Finished a sweater

Here is my new cardigan! It was fun to knit. I might make it again in a smaller size and different color. It's very soft. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Finished the bag! Nice quick project. Am reading The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters...

Friday, September 19, 2014

This will turn into a shoulder bag. I love the color.

Is anyone else a little disappointed that Scotland did not become independent? Though I guess it would have been a disaster.

On a related political note: I really want Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I am a little nervous about Zoe's first day of school on Tuesday. I know it will probably be fine. She has met her teachers, and likes them. Also, she really enjoyed her drop-off class at the children's museum this summer.

I finished a scarf today:

I'm also knitting two sweaters: one purple, one gray.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

“Yesterday and tomorrow cross and mix on the skyline. The two are lost in a purple haze. One forgets, one waits.” ― Carl Sandburg 

Thursday, September 04, 2014

First day of school

Eric started school today. I miss him...but I'm glad he's right across the street!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

We went to Danvers for Labor Day weekend. We had an unexpected guest, my sister's dog Cocoa. They were moving my nephew into college in New Hampshire and their dog sitter fell through. So Cocoa stayed with us yesterday. She is only 9 months old.

It was hard to get a good picture of her because she moved around so much. She had a good disposition.

We also went to the beach, which was beautiful but surprisingly cold.

Eric and I took a walk through the woods...

And Zoe got tuckered out from all the action.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

At gymnastics, in the waiting room, I saw a little girl in a tutu doing an elaborate dance to Katy Perry's "Roar." I ended up buying the song :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

At some point recently (last weekend?), I went to an amazing bookstore for children, called Books of Wonder. They have pretty much any children's book you could want, as well as some young adult ones. There is also a little bakery in one corner of the store.

I noticed one young adult author with three titles: Stephanie Perkins, whose books are Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After. I started with Isla and now I'm reading Anna. These books are so fun. The characters are lively and well drawn, and you get to go to France! I recommend them.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Eric is very intrigued with the yarn swift and ball winder I have in my room, to spin yarn with. (It comes in a floppy hank that is hard to knit from, so you spin it into a ball). Today we spun a couple of skeins together. He wants to do more later. Then he started to talk about "knitting a Mommy with skin-colored yarn." (This sounds a little creepy here but was cute in person, I promise.) Then I offered to make a knitted wild animal together and showed him this book.

He wants me to make the tiger on the cover.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sometimes I think that three years is too far apart, that they have different interests, but right now they are playing happily in E's room, bouncing a ball, laughing. Heaven.

Another thing that strikes me - some people are basically WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get," a programming term) and others are troves of hidden expression, which you see when you read their writing (an old friend's blog). All kinds of things on their mind that you would never guess from their conversation.

Friday, August 15, 2014

At the park today, Zoe was playing with her friend Gabby. 

Then they moved to a park bench and Gabby fell asleep. Zoe is still sitting with her quietly. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Some new yarn I got yesterday. I am making a scarf with it.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

So I've been watching some of the old James Bond movies, especially the ones with Sean Connery. Tonight I watched On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which starred George Lazenby (a one-time Bond; Connery was asking for more money) and Diana Rigg. I think Judy had mentioned her before; she starred in The Avengers or something? Anyway, she was very good. The film had breathtaking snow chase sequences, in snowmobiles and on skis. Eric was riveted as well. Then there was a sad ending :( But otherwise, a very good movie.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Dislike required energy and a good memory for slights; geniality was so much less demanding, and at the end of the day felt better too.

--Alexander McCall Smith

Monday, August 04, 2014


Sometimes you make things from Pinterest, and they don't come out as planned. I tried making a quinoa/cottage cheese burger that was like that. It was disgusting. But today, I saw a pin on Pinterest. It described how to make "silky, stretchy play dough" using 1 cup conditioner (the cheaper, the better) and 2 cups cornstarch. The photo looked like something E and Z would enjoy playing with. So I'm going to try to make it, if I remember. First, I need to buy conditioner.
Having kids really made my 30s fly by. One day, I was 32. Then I had Eric. Now I'm 39. What the hell happened?

I wonder what the 40s will bring.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Big Little Lies

I just finished a really good book. I realized that I especially like chick lit/romance and thriller crossovers. This was one of of those. It was called Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. (She's written some other fun novels, including What Alice Forgot and The Husband's Secret.)

The story is set in Australia and focuses on a parent trivia night at a primary school. One of the parents ends up dead. (Nothing to do with a gun.) Then the narrative goes back to the beginning, when the parents met at orientation, and follows the growing tension between them until things explode at the trivia night. (Not literally.) The book had a fun, gossipy vibe and there is a twist when the trivia night finally comes. I recommend it.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

This is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

-William Carlos Williams

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Coney Island

We took the kids to Coney Island today. I like that you can get there on the subway, and most of the ride is above ground. The mood of the passengers gets more and more easygoing and relaxed as you get closer to the beach. The beach is fun and a little honky-tonk, with a boardwalk, every kind of food imaginable, a playground climber on the sand, a tall sprinkler shaped like a palm tree, and tons of amusement park rides. The kids love it.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Just finished The Glass Castle. I was sorry to see it end. It was basically about the author's crazy childhood, which reached its nadir in Welch, West Virginia - a decrepit, backward mining town. She and her siblings escaped to New York (which seemed to have a different energy back then, kind of gritty, lots of jobs available but also some mugging attempts). It seemed like heaven to them after West Virginia. Then their parents followed them, were homeless for a while, etc. Very colorful story.

She has another book I haven't read yet - Half Broke Horses. I'm going to give it a try.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Jeanette Walls

I just finished reading The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls. It's the story of two sisters, who have a colorful but unreliable mother who abandons them. They go to Virginia to live with an uncle and things unfold from there. It was a gripping story. Now I'm reading her memoir, The Glass Castle.

Monday, June 30, 2014

I was so anxious about Zoe's drop off class at the children's museum, but she loved it. The teacher said she did great, and "she separates really well." Then she stayed at the museum to play in a fire truck, among other things.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

We were all at a birthday party in Riverside Park today. They had these fitness instructors telling the 6-year-olds to do jumping jacks. Eric wasn't into it and we were all getting kind of bored, so we went for a walk, then realized it would be awkward to go back to the party, after leaving. So we continued walking along the river and found a small cafe by the water. We had a feast, including pistachio goat cheese and beet salad, plus fresh sweet corn on the cob. Sometimes the best things happen when you go "off the path."

Sunday, June 22, 2014

We had a great day yesterday. My niece is graduating from high school, so my brother threw a party for her. We went to his house and swam in the pool and sat on lounge chairs. I also got to see his in-laws from Connecticut and North Carolina, including the newest baby who had a shiner! She was cute anyway. There was a delicious cake, part vanilla and part chocolate. My sister's boyfriend said mournfully, "I guess I missed my chance. There's nothing left but a little frosting."

This morning I took a walk to my high school, crossing the field as I used to do in the morning. It was no longer scattered with goose turds, but I did see some small rust-colored mushrooms. The high school has been entirely renovated and looks amazing. It had some labels above doors ("auditorium," "academic wing," "field house") which it did not in my day. The "academic wing" puzzled me - isn't the whole place filled with classrooms? But it was proof that time doesn't stand still, even in Danvers.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

In the golden age of blogging, I read about 15 blogs. Now most of them have closed up shop and I only read a handful of blogs on a regular basis. Recent themes in these blogs include feral cats, whether or not to embark on a friendship with benefits, and going back to graduate school. I started wondering whether these 3 people would get along in real life :) It would be interesting to see.

Our lives are still largely consumed by the HVAC project, which is coming to a close. I feel foolish for having talked D into renting the temporary apartment. We ended up only staying away the first week, when the work was the most intense. After that, their schedule of 6:30am-7pm proved to be an overstatement. They come at 7, which is a little hairy, but they are gone by 4 or 4:30 (I am fuzzy on when they actually leave because I tend to go to the park when they are here. But they are definitely gone by 5).

One thing that is very unfair: they are turning off the heating/cooling in our building for the rest of the year. Because it will take that long to finish all the apartments. They can't have the heating/cooling on while they work on an apartment. So we are gonna roast this summer.

I know. Good times. But at least it's not freezing anymore. (There's gotta be a silver lining, right?)

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Eric's party was a big hit. All the kids were absorbed in making elaborate Lego creations. There was a separate room with food and wine for the parents. They loved this. (Some of them loved it a little too much.)

I woke up with a crusty swollen eye. So I went to a local drugstore that has a doctor present. They gave me some eye drops.

I started reading a book by Ken Bruen, called The Guards. Irish crime fiction, recommended by a friend. Not my usual genre, but I like it. Sometimes it's fun to step outside your habits.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The problems of excessive popularity

The title of this post is kind of a joke. But with a grain of truth in it. We're having a birthday party for E and we are "oversubscribed." They can fit 21 4 to 6 year olds in the "car room" and they can fit 8 to 10 younger siblings in the "Duplo room." Also 5 parents. The problem is, we have 30 parents coming! I guess we can put some people in the waiting room. Yikes! We thought more people would say no. But it's much better than nobody coming, and I think everyone will have a good time. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

The fault in our stars

I am somewhat late to this party...but I am reading The Fault in Our Stars. Go read it now, immediately. You're welcome.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My brother put up this picture of my mother and niece on Facebook. As you can probably tell, my niece was going to her prom. When Zoe saw the picture, she said, "There's Dodo and princess!" Meaning, she thought my niece looked like a princess. My brother said that would make my niece's day. (My niece, as a little girl, called my mother Dodo, and it stuck. Now my kids call her that too...with her encouragement.)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Rear Window

Our new apartment faces a courtyard, which makes it very quiet at night. On the other side of the courtyard, we can see into the windows of other apartments, which creates a Rear Window situation. There is one window I can see into from the kitchen. They have a big, fluffy white sofa with an equally fluffy dog that likes to rest on it and sometimes pounce on the pillows. Yesterday he was taking a nap there, and he looked a bit like a shaggy carpet.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Well, we are all settled into the new place. I hadn't realized I was kind of bored with the old neighborhood. It is fun to explore new restaurants and have a different perspective on the city. The apartment no longer feels so stuffy. I think the previous tenants probably never opened the windows. We also got two 20-inch fans that are extremely helpful.

Still reading Agatha Christie. I got hooked on her books about a month ago. The one I'm reading now, called The Moving Finger, is about an English village where someone is sending anonymous letters.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

It's Mother's Day! Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there.

It's also my anniversary! Twelve years.

Friday, May 09, 2014

We're playing musical beds...staying at the in-laws' this weekend, since they went to their summer/weekend house. The temporary apartment is cute, but just too small and stuffy at night. It's an adventure, I guess.

My mom is in town and might take E to see "The Legend of Oz" tomorrow. It's an animated version of the Wizard of Oz. I am out of touch with movies these days, but I have to admit that Neighbors (Family vs. Frat) with Seth Rogen and Zac Efron looks entertaining.
So we moved into the new place. It's small and stuffy, not a lot of windows, but very clean, and the furniture is cute and well selected. I slept horribly; hopefully tonight will be better. A woman in my building complex told me that the first week of HVAC is the worst. After that, they take the plastic off the furniture and don't come every day. I was grateful for her good advice and felt a little guilty for being annoyed when she wrote "I'm loosing my mind!" on Facebook earlier.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Cat poem

The fog comes on little cat feet.
It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches
and then moves on.

-Carl Sandburg

Saturday, May 03, 2014


A college friend of mine told me that her father (or boyfriend?) said she was part cat. I can relate - even though I am allergic to cats, I like them a lot and enjoy the idea of sleeping on a window seat, basking in the sun. Maybe curling my tail around me.

Fresh cheese

Today Zoe and I tried some fresh cheese mixed with fruit, from Whole Foods. It tasted like yogurt, but not as sweet. It was delicious.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Argh! I hate these appliance repair windows. Why can't they just come at a designated time?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

This morning I joined the elite ranks of people who put spinach in their smoothies. It was good!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Zoe cracks me up. I think potty training is largely a social endeavor for her. She copies Eric when he goes. Then she saw a boy she likes at the playroom and copied him. I don't dare put her in underwear all day yet. But if all the kids use the potty together at preschool, I think we are all set.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New music

I really like Tori Amos' new song. I've been a fan of hers since I won free tickets to her concert in St. Louis in 1996. (I dipped my toes in the Mississippi River.) Her new song is called Trouble's Lament, off the upcoming album Unrepentant Geraldines.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I'm kind of sad that Eric's play is over. I was looking forward to it and really enjoyed watching it. Now it's done. But hopefully there are a lot more plays in his future. I realized I really like live theater. D and I are seeing Heathers (based on the movie) on Broadway this weekend.

Another milestone: Zoe pooped on the potty for the first time! I know, this is a lot of potty talk. But exciting that progress is happening so fast. She also peed on it a number of times and has been wearing underwear for short spells.

Today was E's play at school. He was Jack in "Jack in the Beanstalk." It was an adorable production. In the photo of the cast, he's in the back row on the left. I think he really enjoys acting.

Friday, April 18, 2014


So our building is undergoing extensive renovations. A few months ago, they removed all the asbestos from the pipes. Then in May and June, they are going to remove the pipes and revamp the ventilation system. It means that workmen will be in our apartment from 6:30am to 7pm many days during that month. Apparently there is a lot of dust generated by the process. They do put plastic on your furniture to protect it, but some of it ends up on the floor when they leave.

Everyone who has gone through the process (in other buildings in my complex) urged us to "go away" during the HVAC work. However, most of them had it done during the summer. We managed to find, through "Airbnb," an apartment 30 blocks north of us. That will bring us considerably closer to E's school and further from Z's classes. But since there are gaps between the work, I will just try to be in our apartment on the days Z has activities. I like the idea of cleaning up dust during the pauses rather than facing a huge amount of debris at the end.

D went to see the place before accepting it (he invited me along but I decided to skip it, since I had to pick E up at school shortly thereafter). He said the photos on the website were misleading - it's much smaller in real life, with no living room, just a kitchen and two bedrooms. But I'm relieved to have a place, and feeling much better about the whole process.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I like this yarn. Sometimes you just need to try something new.

Monday, April 14, 2014

So my long-term goals with Zoe are potty training her and weaning her. The first is going swimmingly. She peed twice on the potty today! So I think she will be mostly trained by the time she starts school (5 months from now). I'm going to get her some underwear soon.

The second will be harder. I was talking to another mom who nursed somewhat late (her son was 2 when she stopped). She recommended being away from your child for a few hours each day (preschool will fit the bill) and NOT nursing to "reunite" - instead finding some other way to reunite when school is over. And replacing nursing sessions with milk or juice in a cup. We shall see. I'm going to start doing this (very gradually) when she starts preschool.

In the meantime, we are enjoying the spring weather. It's nice to be outside again.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Listening to Coldplay's new song "Magic." The cynical part of me can't help wondering if Chris Martin (Coldplay's lead singer) and Gwyneth Paltrow timed their breakup to generate publicity for Coldplay's new album. But regardless, it's a great song.

I also finished a great book recently...The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Zoe peed on the potty for the second time today! It was around 10am, so that is probably a good time for her to go there. I'm so excited! Maybe it's easier with a girl, after all.

Also, E has a starring role in the play Jack and the Beanstalk at his school - he will be Jack! He reads his lines really well.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

So I was making spinach coconut chickpea curry (quite good; you can find the recipe here). Zoe kept asking for "more chickpeas." Then I put all the chickpeas in the pan so I offered her some raw baby spinach. "More spinach!" She cracks me up. I have to remember all this for when I have to pack her a lunch someday. I bet the teachers will be surprised.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Well, Zoe peed on the potty for the first time yesterday. Hopefully this will put her on track for nursery school in the fall. They didn't say she needed to be toilet trained, but I'm sure they would prefer it if she is at least partway there. Her "motivator" on the potty is still The Pigeon Needs a Bath.

I've been reading Agatha Christie.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

The potty chronicles

So I have started potty training Zoe. We trained Eric later (starting when he was 3, and it didn't really "take" until he was three and a half) but I figure you can start with girls earlier. I was having trouble getting her to stay on the potty. With Eric, if you gave him a laptop he was happy to sit there for ages. Not so with Zoe. Finally I got her to sit there for about fifteen minutes today (maybe more) while I read "The Pigeon Needs a Bath" by Mo Willems over and over. (She loves that book, but it doesn't make her any more inclined to take a bath, unfortunately.) Anyway, I was pleased she sat there that long. She hasn't peed in the potty yet, but I think this is progress. (I am going to post about this periodically, to keep myself on track.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I watched a little bit of Frozen with Zoe. She was rapt, but it also lulled her to sleep. So i just transferred her to bed. It really does seem good.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

When Zoe woke me this morning, I was having a strange, Haruki Murakami-like dream. I was in an elevator with no buttons. A disembodied voice said, "We are heading to the thirteenth floor." The elevator may have done a couple of somersaults, I'm not sure.

Monday, March 31, 2014

So the weather was good today by NYC early spring standards (a little over 50 degrees). Both kids stripped off their jackets and shoes. Later, when we were heading out, I couldn't find Zoe's shoes. A friend told me that someone else's little kid had been playing with them. So I asked the little kid's mother (Redhead) where Zoe's shoes were. She said vaguely, "I'm not sure, they might be over by the sand pit." They weren't. I started to think they were just gone. Then my friend found them in some random person's stroller. Redhead's daughter had put them there. During the search, Redhead had escaped.

The whole incident gave me a dim view of Redhead. I think she should have helped us look, or at least stayed until they were found, since her daughter was responsible.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I miss Hawaii. It's paradise, a truly relaxing place.

In other news, I saw a good movie last night, called Enough Said. It had a lot of funny, clever lines.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Jet lag is hell

The trip was worth it, I of the best vacations I've had...but neither child wants to go to bed and it's 12:52 a.m. I went to Gristede's at 9pm (the latest I've been there in a very long time) and only recognized one cashier. I hope they get back on a normal sleep schedule, stat.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pineapple upside down cake

Before we left for Hawaii, Eric had his weekly "playdate" with his grandparents. They always cook something together. In honor of our trip, they made pineapple upside down cake. I'd never had it before; somehow it didn't appeal to me - but this smelled so good when Eric brought it home. You could smell the caramelized brown sugar and butter, and the sweetness of the baked pineapple. One bite and I was hooked! So I got the recipe from my mother-in-law. She used a basic recipe with cake mix. I also found a recipe online, more sophisticated, which actually calls for vanilla beans. You can order them on Amazon.

And of course we had it in the Molokini Bistro.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Eric on the beach last night

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I took this picture of a rainbow this morning. It's kind of crazy how beautiful it is here.

Friday, March 21, 2014

So we've done some fun things in Hawaii - lounging on the beach, watching Eric and David surf while Zoe played with ladybugs, had some delicious pineapple upside down cake, etc. (I even found a recipe for pineapple upside down cake that calls for a vanilla bean, and I figured out that you can buy them from Beanilla.) But another thing I want to write about is the kitchen in our "villa." We're traveling with my mom and two small children, so they put us in a little house.

Anyway, the kitchen has everything recessed: oven, microwave, dishwasher, fridge and freezer. You can see the flat faces of the oven and microwave, and everything else is behind a cabinet door. In the center of the kitchen is an island instead of a table. The stovetop is part of the island. I really like this setup. (The dishwasher controls are on the inside, which is the only awkward part.) I also like the L-shaped sofa - I think it's called a sectional.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

So we've been in Hawaii for a few days. The jet lag was terrible at first, and the Newark-L.A. portion of the flight was trying (if you're thinking about flying on Virgin Airlines, don't). Delta, on the L.A.-Hawaii leg, was much better. And Hawaii itself is beautiful.

I kind of don't want to go home. We are definitely going to come back here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

So D was checking out the vegetarian options at our hotel restaurant (not that we have arrived in Hawaii yet. We're leaving Saturday). Sadly it is meat-and-fish dominated...but it's not that sad...because it's Hawaii! I'm sure they'll be flexible. The hotel offers a "grocery shopping service," has a really good-looking breakfast, and there is an Indian restaurant nearby (I was surprised).

I was thinking back to stories I have heard of Hawaii. I did yoga teacher training in 2005, and my "yoga buddy" was from Hawaii. She was pregnant at age 19 or so and her parents kicked her off their island. So she went to another island. She told me stories of how she breastfed other people's babies. Also, I remembered that Obama is from Hawaii. But I don't know which island.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I remember my first job out of college, where this guy said once, "I'm just keeping my head above water" because he felt overwhelmed by the job. I remember not relating to this comment AT ALL because it was a ridiculous, easy, mindless job where the only difficult thing was getting promoted because no one wanted to be stuck at the entry level (I did get promoted after a year). Anyway, I have lost that superior feeling entirely because I do feel overwhelmed right now. It helps to think of this:

Friday, March 07, 2014

I'm re-reading The Secret Garden. It's a wonderful book. The one I'm reading is one of those Barnes & Noble collectible hardcover editions with a lilac cover. (They are only ten dollars and they have most of the classics.) The one I read as a child was a paperback Dell Yearling edition with a light green cover. The other book by the same author, A Little Princess, had a pink cover. The Barnes & Noble version does as well. I guess they figured that one has to have a pink cover.

Children's books stay with you in a way that adult books don't always. When I was coming back from dinner with D the other night, we passed a building that said Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. I was starstruck! That was where Dell Yearling was headquartered, and that was my favorite imprint as a child. It was like seeing a rock star or something. But better.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

We're reading the Little House series with Eric...he loves it. But it's funny reading it this time around. As a child, I liked how it was based on a true story, and the dynamic between the sisters. This time, I'm mostly struck by Pa as superman. He can whip up a table, bedstead or log cabin at a moment's notice. Once he carries a tin stove home from "town" and comments, "Thank God it was only three miles!" I explained to Eric that three miles is the equivalent of sixty city blocks. D's cousin said, "Pa is an alpha male, like Putin." (But a lot nicer.)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

There should be a German word for the moment when you open your medicine cabinet and all your makeup (mostly lipstick, in my case) comes pouring out. Cosmetiksplosion or something like that.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I'm excited for Hawaii. It feels like the light at the end of the tunnel that's pulling me through an endless winter. It's supposed to snow here again on Tuesday.

It's funny, though - as much as I love to travel, I always wonder if I can find the comforts of home in a new place. Will they have Earl Grey? English Breakfast? Pomegranate seeds? One of my favorite books, The Accidental Tourist, features a quirky protagonist who writes guides for people just like me - the ones who are looking for those familiar little things when they travel away from home.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

So Zoe has become a bibliophile. It used to just be Eric. When he was little, he brought books over and said, "Book!" Zoe brings books over and says, "Read it!" The funny thing is, she doesn't like the "girly" books recommended by Amazon (even though she is pretty girly). She likes books about pumpkins, and pretty much any lift-the-flap book.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My first entirely made up recipe

Brown rice, prepared with water, butter and salt
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
About 6 oz fresh baby spinach
2 handfuls sugar snap peas
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper

Prepare the rice according to package directions. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 1 min. Add the plum tomatoes and saute until softened. Add the sugar snap peas and saute for 1-2 min. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add the chickpeas and saute for 1 min. Add salt and pepper to taste.

It was good!

Monday, February 10, 2014

"Mothers are all slightly insane." - J.D. Salinger

Because our job is 24/7 and it's HARD. But then there are these magic moments that make it all worth it. Like this morning, when Zoe said, "ABC," meaning she wants us to sing the ABC song. So Eric sang it with me (D was in the shower) and started to do his crazy dance (mostly with his arms) and Zoe started to do her dance, which is mostly booty, and her hair was still sticking up in crazy little curls from sleeping.

Sometimes Facebook shows you old photos, and they make me aware of how quickly time is passing:

It's hard for me to believe Eric was ever that small. I love his sunny smile in this photo. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

You always appreciate your health the most right after you have been sick.

Recently I got tonsillitis. My tonsils swelled up and developed white spots. I could barely swallow. So the doctor gave me some antibiotics. They took two days to kick in. Finally I have my appetite back and had enough energy to go to the grocery store this morning.

The moment when you start feeling like when Dorothy steps into color. Without the Munchkins and the yellow brick road, of course. (Can you tell that Eric is addicted to the Oz series right now?)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The smoothie post

So a while back I got a small blender, basically personal size, and I have been making smoothies in it. My standard "recipe" is strawberry, banana and soy milk. Today I threw in some blueberries on a whim. I had always resisted them in drinks because blue drinks aren't very appealing. But they give the smoothie a piquant lift. I recommend it :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dreaming of the sun

Winter drags on. I keep looking forward to March - we are going to Hawaii - for the very first time. Sleeping in L.A. so we won't have to do an 11-hour flight at once. We'll have one 6-hour leg, one 5-hour-20-minute leg. Manageable. I think.

Am on my third book in the Vish Puri series - very enjoyable detective books by Tarquin Hall. Despite his British name, he *must* have lived in India for a while, to give his writing all this great local color.

Monday, January 20, 2014

So I'm trying out a new series about an Indian detective, written by Tarquin Hall. Nothing deep or profound, but fun, and a clever glimpse into another culture. This one is about the "Love Commandos" who help young Indians marry outside their caste.

I just saw a commercial for Blacklist...and James Spader is bald now...and that is just not a good look for him. I hope he grows his hair back (if he can). Still, he has a certain charisma.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The deep blue sea

So I tried watching a movie that a Facebook friend described as just about perfect. It was called The Deep Blue Sea. The customer reviews on Amazon all said it was slow, though some said it was worth it. God, it was terrible. I don't mind "slow" meaning no car crashes and lots of conversation. I DO mind "slow" meaning no one talking and lots of long shots of nothing. At least I didn't pay anything for it, I get free instant streaming with Amazon Prime.

In other news, Z got into nursery school (the one E went to). That was easy!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Listening to the Smiths...I have not listened to them in so long.

I love their lyrics:

Girlfriend in a coma, I know, I know, it's serious...

Do you have a vacancy for a backscrubber?

She said, when you were hopelessly bored, I just liked you more...

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tap tap tap

So I moved Zoe to a different ballet slot. One of the other moms told me she was going to change her daughter to that slot because it's for kids who are 24-36 months, and our kids turned 2 a couple of months ago. It's also a little bit later in the morning, which is always a good thing. So I decided to try it.

Some of the kids are older and taller and a little bit better at following directions, but the younger kids (Zoe, Zelda and Celine) were catching on. "Parent participation is optional," the teacher said. She meant that we no longer have to model everything for the kids or move their limbs for them. And Zoe did seem eager to imitate the older kids.

Another change: the last 15 minutes of each class will be devoted to tap dancing. They had a little box of shoes for kids who didn't have them yet. After class, I went online and found a cute pair on Amazon. The size 7 1/2 shoes she wore in class were a little too big, so I ordered a size 7. And I didn't have to pay anything, because I was able to use my Amazon points. (I have an Amazon credit card and the points pile up.)

The sound of 10 girls tap dancing is pretty cacophonous. But I think Zoe enjoyed it. And she was intrigued by the metal plates on the bottoms of her shoes.

Winter haiku

I hate winter so
Snow, cold, frost, rain, and shivers
They dampen your soul

Saturday, January 04, 2014

We are back in NYC. Mom ended up staying in the Sheraton in Florida...her flight was put off until tomorrow. E said, "Why can't we live in Florida?" I kind of feel the same. I guess the solution is to take lots of vacations in warm sunny places.
What a mess. Our flight back to NYC got canceled, but they promptly put us on another one. Mom's flight got canceled too, but she is having trouble getting a new one. Apparently it's impossible to fly into Boston right now. And there's another storm coming...

Friday, January 03, 2014

Heading back

So tomorrow we are going home. We had to change our flight to avoid a horrific storm that descended on New York and Boston. It was a really fun trip. You can definitely get tired traipsing around the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. But the weather was lovely and everyone was more relaxed than they are in Manhattan. I guess what I need to remember is, you can stay relaxed even when people around you are stressed out. Zoe loved one ride called "Triceratops Swirl" where the dinosaurs moved up and down. We all liked "Soaring" in Epcot, where you honestly feel like you are hang gliding over California. And my mom watched E and Z so D and I could have a relaxed dinner. I felt much younger afterward.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Overheard at Disney

Father: Why are you crying about a leaf? What's wrong with you?
Son (sobbing): I WANTED TO GIVE IT TO YOU!
Father: I can get a billion leaves. (To us) Whew, that was fun. Is there any Disney vodka?

My mom did say that Disney is a good place to go to see "ill-tempered children." Though they do have fun too. I think.

On New Year's Eve we ordered a feast from room service: noodles with tofu and vegetables, pizza, Hawaiian pull-apart bread with macadamia nut butter, chocolate cake and beer. It was as nice a way to spend NYE as any. The food tasted especially good. And the weather is lovely. Why don't we all just live in Florida?