Little Miracle

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Maybe it’s because I’ve been away for work for a bit and I’m overly emotional.

Maybe it’s because I worry about literally every situation my kids could possibly get into to. Past, present and future.

I worry they’ll grow up wrong.

I worry they’ll remember their childhoods painfully. Or without joy. Or not at all.

I worry they’ll never want to see us when they are no longer mandated by law to live with us.

I worry.

So when I came home to find this homework assignment that my daughter did it almost killed me with joy.

The assignment was to write about an ” Ordinary Miracle” in your life, and my daughter decided to write about her brother.

Waaaaa!! I can’t even think about it because it just makes me melt.

I am not allowed by the laws of teenagehood to show you the actual assignment, but let me tell you, it’s amazing.

I am really close to my sister, and my husband is super close to his sisters too – so the fact that she wrote about her brother as her ordinary miracle will bring a smile to my face for a long time. Forever maybe.

It was an extraordinary miracle to me.

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Poor me

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My conference ended today. I have a few more hours of work and then I’m on the red-eye home. But I did get to sleep in and enjoy my room for the first time all week. And I ordered room service. Look at the size of this French toast. And the size of the butter on top. Toasted coconut and a caramelized banana? Check. Although I miss my family a ton – this isn’t all that bad. Just sayin’ (the newspaper came with the breakfast. Bless their hearts)

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One more pic. Just to show off.

 

Ode to Putzing

For as long as I’ve known my father-in-law – a couple of decades – he’s used the phrase “I’m just putzing around” when asked what he’s been up to on a particular day. It’s classic Pappa Joe. 

I love putzing around. Humming about. Doing nothing of any importance or consequence. I’ve always loved it – I just never knew what it was called. So much of my time during the week is spent going from one efficient time block to another – it’s nice to wake up and putz around. It doesn’t mean you do nothing. No no no. It means you do stuff you want that leads to other stuff. Maybe you start a project, but you certainly don’t need to finish it. Maybe you go to a store where you need nothing and kill an hour. Or two. It’s like surfing the net – but outside in the real world. It’s passing the bagel place up the road to go to the better bagel place inconveniently located on the other side of town. It’s not about errands. It’s not about chores. It’s about a few hours of unproductive activity. 

Can you guess what I did this morning? 

 

A plague on both your houses!

Actually, no. The plague is on our house. Thanks for nothing Shakespeare.
It’s bad. Really bad. Super bad.
Stomach Bug 2014 is much worse than snowmageddon or sharknado.
Only the spry teenager has escaped so far. See, there’s a reason why they text, tweet , and Instagram. You can remain disease free.
I’m in bed. Waiting. Gross.
Here’s a pic of my night side table.
And of the cat. The only living thing allowed near me.

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TMI? No . That would have been a pic of me sleeping on the bathroom floor last night.
Just sayin’

Domo Arigato NYC

Maybe it’s because I love it so very much that I have guilt. Yesterday’s post about how NYC can sometimes stink has me feeling bad. And because some folks reminded me that I sounded like a spoiled baby…waaaa….it smells bad. They said,” You know what smells bad? War torn Africa! Crime riddled Mexico! And small American towns with no good bagel shops. So chin-up! Get over it!”
So – like a cheap suit I’m folding today and telling you the good parts of my commute.

There’s this ridiculous view at the front of my building. Beautiful.

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Across from the pee block (ahem) is a little place called Underground Pizza. It completes me. Know why? Because it makes this…

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It’s the most amazing slice ever. On a side note, in college, my friend Maureen and I would go to this kick-ass pizza place called Broadway Joe’s. It was the best pizza in the city (they burned down and rose from the ashes in Upstate NY, but that’s another story for another day) We’d always get the same thing – a Sicilian slice. Then we’d ask the very Italian dude to scrape off the cheese and add more sauce. He’d do it – but he wasn’t happy about it. Then we’d load it up with red pepper and black pepper. Sigh. Good times. My college memories are of pizza not keg parties. I know you’re not surprised. (Tell me you remember this Maureen?!)
What was I talking about?

Last but not least – this is the Geisha that rides the subway with me every morning. We’re on the same schedule. She gets off at Fulton Street to go about her Geisha day. The first time I saw her I snapped a pic. Now I just pretend it’s normal like everyone else.

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Pee

So my new job is really great – I had forgotten what it was like to be the new toy in town. It’s fun. Really fun.
New people, new challenges, I’m even getting used to the commute – all in all a great way to start the year.
BUT! There is a but.
Not a great big but, just a little one. Here it is…
All I obsess about as soon as I get off my train is pee. Sorry. It’s gross. I’m disgusted just thinking about telling you about it. And please know, I am not that girl. I can’t deal with bathroom humor or bathroom anything. If I saw a shrink I’m sure we’d talk about all the bodily functions that I’m grossed out by. Even when I had my babies… When normal mothers readily stick their noses, fingers, etc in all kinds of places -I had issues. I did it. But I was tortured by it.
Anyway. Back to my point. All I smell when I step off the train is pee. I don’t know where it comes from. I don’t want to know. But it’s the scent that follows me up from the train and down one whole block. One long, stinky block. There’s a rush of relief when it ends at Pearl Street. Thank goodness for Pearl Street, it’s exactly like it sounds. Clean, cool, shiny and pretty. I try to hold my breath for that long block before Pearl but I can’t. Eventually I have to breath. I’ve developed a system where I bury half my face in a scarf. If I could wear one of those surgical masks without feeling like a freak, I would. Those overpopulated countries in Asia have all the luck. Everyone wears one there.
And what am I going to do in the summer when my scarf won’t be there to save me?? What shocks me as much as the smell is that I don’t think other people are bothered. They don’t wrap themselves up like a mummy – terrified of accidental inhalation. Some of the lunatics even have coffee and breakfast while walking on that block, the pee block. Wtf?? Could I walk down another block? I’ve tried. The side streets are just as bad.
Are you reading this and thinking, “what am I reading? what is wrong with this girl?”. Well let me tell you, there is a lot wrong with me. But in this particular case, the problem is that I have a supersonic sense of smell (and hearing, but that’s a different story). I have visceral reactions to smell. I can’t overcome a stinky place/people/things. It stays with me like a layer of dust or a cloud of that clings to me.
On a positive note, a good smell can change my whole day. It can make me happy, excited, or relaxed. I may not love diaper duty, but a baby’s head can make my day! I’m a weirdo. I know it. But I can’t help it. Like Lady Gaga said – I was born this way.

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Year of the Horse

Happy New Year friends. Hope you did exactly what you wanted last night.  We went to a grown-up party – I slapped on some make-up and everything. It was loads of fun.  In fact, fun is what we’ve been having since Thanksgiving. Eating, drinking, merriment making fun *burp*.

This was the sky when we finally headed out of the house today. Well…this was the sky after a couple of filters but you get the point. 

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2013 was a year of change for our family – and we rocked it.  In the moment the changes seemed scary and jarring – but looking back they were exactly what we needed. We shook off the negative to make room for the positive. Was it perfect? No. But that’s how we like it. Perfectly imperfect.

I have no idea what this new year will hold for me or my family. I’m sure there will be successes, failures, laughter, tears, music and fun. There will be a 16th birthday, an 11-year-old boy in the house,  a new driver’s license, family gatherings, an 18th wedding anniversary and two adults sinking deeper into their 40s. How will it all go down? I dunno. But I promise you one thing. I promise you that I’ll blog every step of the way.

Thank you so much for the year behind us and here’s a toast to our year ahead! Together. Whether you like it or not. Ahem.

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I love secrets

I got a lot of great gifts this year – I’m a lucky girl. Last night we did the final gift exchange with my family – there is absolutely no more gift giving and receiving after this. It’s over. Done. No more I tell you!

My little bitty sister gave me this really cool book I thought I’d share with you. It’s less of a cookbook and more of a nonfiction book about chefs. Right up my alley!

It’s full of beautiful photos and recipes, but it’s really storytelling about the chefs. What they do, why they do it and how they do it.

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It’s written with a sharp biting wit and doesn’t take itself too seriously, look at these hilarious quotes…

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The other cool thing about this book is all the wacky food the chefs make. In the world of Instagram and 24/7 food trucks – where everyone’s a foodie and Harissa and truffle oil are almost old school – I love reading about unusual food. Lebnah… Tasso … This is no everyday kimchi cookbook. There’s actually a line on page 267 that reads, “This is not a traditional baba au rhum, so purists, stand back!” Wtf?

Will I ever make it? Probably not. But I will sleep better knowing that there are people out there that do.

Ok – gotta go source some Kajmak cheese.

checking in…

So whatcha been up to? Hope you’ve been having some Christmas fun.  Here’s what we’ve been doing – non sequitur.

  • Started my Christmas shopping in September hoping to get ahead of the game, but the game won. I am still not done and it’s 2 days after Christmas.
  • Went to the ER the day before Christmas Eve (long scary story with a happy ending, all is good).
  • Made 12 dozen cookies. 12. Dozen. 144 cookies. Know what I learned? Even after making 144 cookies I still want to eat cookies.
  • Headed to NYC on Christmas Eve and came home with tons of great gifts and happy memories (and saw a truly ugly sweater, thanks Aunt Stacy).
  • Hosted a neighborhood gathering at our house a day after finishing my first week at a new job. It sounds stressful but it was so much fun. It was the perfect way to kick off our holiday fun – and I learned how to make eggnog. And I also learned that you can only drink about 2 cups of eggnog before wanting to throw-up!
  • Had some killer Chinese food on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Fa ra ra ra ra, ra, ra,ra ra.
  • Decided to cave in and get the kids a trampoline for Christmas. Look for future posts titled, “Why did we buy a trampoline?” and “Were we nuts when we bought the kids a trampoline? Yes!”.
  • Dropping off my girl for a session of winter camp today, sniff…sniff. It’s only 4 days but I really don’t like it when she’s gone.
  • Went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Don’t listen to all those Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a sweet, visual, musical movie. Does it have anything to do with the short story? Nope. But it does make you want to visit Greenland and Iceland – so there’s that.
  • Only watched A Christmas Story 3 to 8 times, much less than last year.
  • Santa brought our son some more inappropriate Xbox games. What can you do, that Santa is a crazy mofo.
  • My girl wanted a saxophone for Christmas and we decided to go for it. Instead of buying it outright (incase she changes her mind like the guitar. or the ukulele. or the harmonica. or the…) we decided to rent it from a music and arts store. What happened next was a tragedy of errors that resulted in us going to that store 4 times. I have only one thing to say to the 8 dudes that work there,” dudes, wearing a skinny tie and having a hipster beard only makes you look smart if you aren’t completely incompetent and stupid. You morons.” Sorry. That is all.
  • After we drop off my daughter at camp, we head directly to my parents house for Christmas Part Deux. Time to push aside the figgy pudding and make room for the garam masala.

To go with the bullets that make no linear sense – here’s some random photos from the past few days! I’m sorry the boy has no shirt on – but that’s how he rolls in the house. Just keepin’ it real. xoxo

 

Here’s me wrapped up in a blanket reading my new cookbook (Pioneer Woman!) and my son looking like an angel playing a killing game. I have guilt. Can you tell?

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Can you guess which plate of food is mine? Hint: it’s the one that burns going down.

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Even in her “ugly” sweater she looks beautiful!

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Here’s my two favorite men. I think next year they can switch places in the picture :-).

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She loved her saxophone, no thanks to the dopes at the music store. Sorry.

 

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This is my kids exchanging gifts they bought for each other. Is there anything better than that?

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Putting my marriage at risk for you

I’m going to get in major trouble for posting this pic. But I can’t help myself. In real life, my husband looks like a serious dude. Sometimes his frown does not turn upside down – know what I’m sayin’?

But I think deep inside – he’s always smiling. Look at him doing karaoke with his aunt. Not only did he belt out a tune (Sinatra I think), but then he busted a few moves to make her laugh.

The pic is blurry so I’m hoping he won’t be too angry. He’ll be smiling on the inside when he sees this. Ahem.

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