Times they are a changin’

Last week we decided to make what seemed like a few small changes. We have a playset in the back yard that hadn’t been used in years. With a 17 year old about to graduate and a 12 year old boy obsessed with his trampoline, we thought it was a safe bet to get rid of it.

But as it was being taken down, piece by piece, I had a sinking feeling. I don’t remember being that emotional when we moved them from the crib to the bed – maybe because the rest of their room was still covered with toys and they were still a version of land locked with us at home.

The other change was a much needed refresh of my daughter’s room. New paint, new dresser, new bed. It was time to say goodbye to Ikea furniture that lasted her for more than a decade (held together by glue and prayer). But even when we were cleaning out the room it still felt like she would be in it. She picked the colors, the furniture, etc. It didn’t feel like an end, just the next step.

When the kids went from carseat to booster to nothing, we celebrated. When the training wheels came off, we celebrated. Even when my son left his elementary school last year, we celebrated. Our babies were amazing but we have a lot of fun with our kids. We live in a neighborhood that let our kids bike around, walk around and now drive around. We always felt so happy when they made another, brave step. Maybe because at the end of those steps they came back home. It didn’t feel like an end.

The playset being taken away felt like an end.

I know it’s normal and parents all through time have done this. I know there are bigger moments to come, graduation, weddings, etc. But this feels like a big movement. A home that doesn’t have little feet that’ll climb the slide. A home where I don’t stand at the kitchen sink and watch them play. Truth be told they haven’t touched it in years, and it’s a great big eyesore, which is why it was so easy to decide to get rid of it. Still it stung.

Here’s a look down memory lane and then the memory being demolished and taken away. Just kidding. Not really.
 

   
    
    
  

 

A gem

  
I take a lot of pictures of my kids. Like an abnormal amount. I have a ton of albums and suitcases full of loose photos. I take a ton of pics. Still do. How can I not? First of all they are super cute, and I know I’m not supposed to say that, but #truth. Second of all it makes me happy. So there. 

All our relatives make fun of the way we’ve trained our kids. As soon as I take a camera out, they take position and smile. Usually when they don’t want to. But they do it for their crazy mama.

Every year of their lives is fully documented. Even before social media. That’s why I was so surprised when I got this picture. Taken at the home of a sister friend years and years ago. 

A new picture from those days, a picture I had not taken is like finding a treasure. She sent it to me this afternoon and I’ve been staring at it ever since. 

Kera intensely doing a craft – Jack smiling with his chunky cheeks – both of them golden brown. Where they back from the beach? What was that day? Where was I? 

I thought I owned every picture taken of my kids. It’s a sweet surprise to see otherwise. Thank you aunt Katherine! Xoxo

Snow dayzzzzzzz


I think this picture was taken in 2000. We were living in NYC on the upper east side. Kera was 2. Going for walks with her daddy was one of her favorite things, even in a blizzard. Even in dirty city snow.

That white snow suit was a gift from her godmother Colleen, my sister-in-law. Colleen bought Kera every winter coat until she became a teen – and stopped wearing winter coats.

The picture with the pink hat below became our Christmas card that year.

This was Kera’s first major sledding adventure. Look at that face! Look at that hat! Remember when you could put your kids in anything and they’d wear it? I don’t.

  I think this is that same year. We had moved out of the city to upstate NY.

  Then Jack came on the scene…ready to party.

 Just look at Kera’s toothy smile! I like taking this trip down winter coat memory lane….

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We still meet with family every year right before Christmas – back then we met in Lancaster, PA. Thanks to Aunt Dee Dee we’d see a show, stay in a hotel and kick off the holidays. The picture below is from one of the last times we were there. We drove down and a blizzard hit. The show was cancelled but we found an open restaurant and made the best of it. I’m not sure why Jack isn’t wearing gloves. I seem to have him wrapped up like a babushka except for his little, cold hands. I was too busy taking pictures.

Snow makes them happy. And anything that makes them happy is fine by me.

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Garbage in garbage out 

  
When I left the house this morning for a fun lunch with some friends, this garbage can did not look like this. 

How long do you think my crew would have kept the tower of trash going? The box of OJ is barely hanging on. You can’t see it, but someone lodged a banana peel on one of the sides. 

Do you think they would have just let it overflow and gone about their day? Which, by the way, consisted of napping and eating. 

I know they were waiting for me to get home to change the bag. I know because very much like a full dishwasher that needs emptying, full garbage cans can only be seen by my eyes. I’m magical like that. 

Here’s the funniest part of this whole thing. After our lovely lunch – we went to The Container Store. The mecca of organization and cleanliness! Ha! I was walking around in a daze thinking about spice racks in alphabetical order while my house was basically a dump!  I’m obviously delusional. 

I’ll aim a little lower. Is there such a thing as The Bigger Garbage Can store? Sigh. 

Before

BEFORE

Before marriage, graduation, and jobs

Before moving into the railroad apartment on 87th Street, our first little house on Penn Street, and then suddenly to Aspen Road

Before we lost your mom and my grandparents

Before we decided to have a baby and then have another

Before we figured out how to do our hair, obviously

Before we filled out our daughter’s first college application

Before 9/11

Before we stopped drinking crappy beer and even crappier wine(coolers)

Before our Amex bill was four digits (or five…gulp)

Before our son asked what porn was and you walked out of the room

Before we celebrated 20, and 30 and 40

Before we knew there would be no one else

Before we built this little imperfectly perfect world together

There was us.

 

 

Hello

Anyone else having a personal relationship with Adele’s new song? I’m bad-karaoke singing that song all day long. Like. All. Day. Oh, you hate that song? Ok – Not everyone likes it.

I’m sure Isis hates it too. Or is it Isil? How come everyone on the BBC calls it Isil? Is there a difference? Or is it like potato paTATo? I’m not making light of it. My heart goes out to the city of lights. As it does to all cities that are victims of violence.

Can I be honest? I was hoping not to think about refugees and death and Justin Beiber right now. I kinda wanted to just think about my Scorpio birthdays, turkey brines and maybe – on a heavy note – whether or not to shop on Black Friday.

It’s not that I don’t care. I care. I’m just really tired and I’d like to not be thinking about humanity right now. Is that so bad? Shouldn’t the Pope and the Dalai Lama be doing that? Come on. We’ve all got our jobs. I don’t ask them to think about how I’m fitting 16 people at one table next Thursday am I?

I mean fine, the world is falling apart. But it’s hard to focus on that when my baby girl is driving and looking at colleges. I’m not sure I’m ready. Oh, it’s about her you say? Maybe. Ok, for sure. But. But. It’s a little about me.

I want to run up and hug every parent that’s already done this. Sent a kid off at night in a car. Just like,” Here you go. Here’s a key to a deadly weapon. Love you!”. Not normal!  And then sent a kid off to college. With strangers. Who will sleep with them at night. In the words of Adele, hello?! That sound crazy. Sonnets need to be written about these parents! They should be lauded and supported! Sigh…You think I’m overreacting. I’m dramatic. Who cares. What do you know? Yesterday I was supposed to stress out if this little creature coughed or sneezed and now I’m what, just pushing them into the world?? On their own?? With no one to watch out for them?  Like refugees? Sorry.

It’s all going to be ok. It’s all going to be ok. Right?

I’ll just focus on the good stuff.

kerabday

A Midfall Night’s Dream

It’s November. Did you know that? I kinda knew that but it didn’t sink in until about two hours ago. It’s 2am. I’m up. I went to bed at 10pm after we caught up on Homeland (Carrie is off her meds and its super fun!) About an hour later I woke up and haven’t been able to sleep. My mind is reeling. October is over. But it feels like late September. It’s sunny and not too cool (actually right now it’s pitch black and nippy out but you get my point). The Fall foliage is in Technicolor – no filters needed.  I can’t believe I’m talking about foliage at 2am. Correction – 2:10am.

Here’s everything that’s happened in the last few weeks non sequitur:

  • We kicked-off college visits with my baby girl and I’m sad/happy/excited/scared/jealous/weepy for her. Who will be my partner in crime for all foods ethnic? Definitely not her father and brother, their idea of ethnic food is salsa. Who will tell me about cool new music and make me feel like I’m in the know? I know what you’re thinking. All these things are about me. But she’s about me. She’s mine. I’m not ready to let the world have her yet. The world isn’t good enough. I wish she could experience all those amazing things that are around the corner for her, but still come home every night and sleep in her bed. So now I cry randomly when I’m alone thinking about dropping her off at school. Good times.
  • I’m obsessed with Project Greenlight. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were supposed to be the most interesting thing about this show – and yet they are the least. Effy, the valley-girl-dreadlocked-feminist producer who lives to drive newbie director Jason crazy with her control issues is what’s interesting. The fact that Jason looks like a real life version of Jack Skellington from A Nightmare Before Christmas is just a bonus. Watch it watch it!!
  • Babes with Books is still going strong! In fact, it’s my turn to host book club next week and I’m excited to see the ladies. We picked Me Before You. Have you read it? Did you love it? I read it in one day. Couldn’t put it down. It could have been a predictable story but it wasn’t – even the parts that you can predict are slightly twisted. Read it read it!!
  • We hosted 8 birthdays in one day. 8. Birthdays. Efficient and crazy. That’s how we roll. See birthday cake as proof!
  • My baby boy was one of those birthdays. He’s 12 now. 12 years ago I woke up at 4am and hightailed it up to Vassar Brother’s Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY. 12 years ago I brought home this little, strong-willed, creative, smart, kind boy who makes me laugh every day (when he’s not driving me crazy). 12 years flew by like 12 minutes. See his picture below –  at 9am, eating a hot dog and drinking an Icee on what he called his “cheat day”. I don’t even know what that means. But I’ll play along. Forever.
  • Fall in our town is my jam. One of our very good friends is a gifted photographer and generously shares amazing shots. Marcello you are the best!  I posted some of my favorites below.
  • So….Halloween down. 8 birthdays down. 1st college visit down. Bring on November! Or continue on with November!

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