Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ouch, owie, yowza, ooooh.

That pretty much sums up my thoughts after reading this.

At least the poor woman had a c-section. Because otherwise? She wouldn't be sitting for months.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Slip on your dancin' shoes . . .

And get ready to kick along with the Gav Clan doin' the Can Can:

Or maybe disco is more your thing?

Shhhh. Don't tell anyone, but I think we have actually done a few of those moves in public. Eeek.

And for those of you prefer a Latin beat:

All made possible by those fun folks over at Jib Jab whose This Land video still cracks me up three years later.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Eight is great!

Tomorrow is my eighth wedding anniversary! Wow!

Instead of writing another smoopy post, I'll just link to the one I wrote last year. Change "seven" to "eight" and that pretty much sums things up. I still love him more than I can express and we do still manage to have a pretty great time together.

We went out for a fantastic, wonderful, delicious dinner at Blue Hill in New York City on Friday night. The food? Amazing. The service? Impeccable. We were treated like royalty (thanks to Mark telling them it was our anniversary when he booked).

The one itty bitty downside? Less than an hour after eating, I got sicker than a dog. I am really having a hard time blaming the restaurant since:
A. Everything they serve is local and extremely fresh and
B. Mark and I ate off each other's plates all night and he didn't get sick and
C. Can food poisoning really hit you less than an hour after eating?

I think the leftover chicken I had for lunch is a much more likely culprit. But either way, getting sick on our big night out and having to come home early to face hours of intestinal distress was full of much suck. MUCH! SUCK!

We've vowed to take a rain check and Mark was muy understanding (as were our friends who'd trekked into the City to hang out with us after dinner). Sorry guys!

So rather than focus on the tragedy of my recent night out, I'll leave you with a few of my favorite wedding photos, which still make me smile as I remember one of the most incredible, perfect days of my life:

Love this shot

Wedding day!

Heading to the cocktail hour

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Roll, apple. Roll.

We’ve all heard the expression, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” And we all know what it means. Whether by nature or nurture, children often exhibit the same personality traits as their parents. While there are some traits we hope our children “inherit,” there are others that we strongly wish they do not.

I was a shy child. Painfully shy. Sensitive too. And insecure. The triple curse. I didn’t make friends easily.

Don’t get me wrong, I had friends. But they were hard won. I was never one of those kids who could be plopped in the middle of a party and within an hour be thick as thieves with every child there.

I was more likely to sit quietly by myself in a corner and watch the proceedings, wishing I could find the strength to get up and join in, but more often than not keeping my butt firmly planted on a chair. I spent large swaths of elementary school wishing I were cooler, funnier, prettier and more popular.

Eventually, I grew out of this a bit. By high school, making friends got easier, but I still had to force myself to talk to people I didn’t know. By the time I got to college, I was finally coming into my own. I made a group of close friends — many of whom I still talk to today — within the first few days of college and I continued making friends right up through my senior year.

But those early elementary years were very tough. Just thinking about them brings back painful memories of wandering the playground alone, or with one or two other friends, while the cooler kids traveled in a pack.

Monday was Peanut’s first day back at preschool. She shifted classes this year – attending the morning session vs. the afternoon. Most of her afternoon classmates from last year stayed put, making her the “new kid” in class.

I walked her into her classroom, while Mark dropped Loaf off across the hall. She was the first girl to arrive. She spied a box of dolls and some dress-up clothes in the corner and walked over. Soon, two little girls walked in. Two girls who were clearly already friends. They made their way to the box of dolls.

“Hi,” I said to the first one. “What’s your name?”

“Michelle*,” she answered.

“Hi Michelle, this is Peanut.”

Turning to the other, “And what’s your name?”

“Katie,” she said.

“This is Peanut. She’s in your class this year.” And with that, I gave her a kiss on top of her head and backed off. As I walked away, I heard Peanut say sweetly, “I like to play with dolls. Do you?”

Feeling satisfied, I walked out and went across the hall to check on Loaf, who was doing just fine and didn’t seem the least bit interested in where we were. We stayed for only a few minutes then turned to go. On the way out, I peaked back into Peanut’s classroom. The two little girls who I’d introduced her to were playing with a toy kitchen.

Peanut was sitting by herself against the wall reading a book.

And without even knowing if she was rejected, or if this was her choice to look at a book right then and there (she loves books and reads them on her own often throughout the day), my heart crunched just a bit. Well, actually, it felt like it was being squeezed by a 20,000-pound vice.

Oh my God. She’s just like me. She’s going to struggle all her life. She’s going to have such a hard time.

The panic was real, visceral. I wanted so badly to run back into that classroom and scoop her up and tell her how awesome she is and stay with her until she made some friends.

“She’s all by herself,” I said to Mark. “She’s just sitting there alone.”

“She’ll be OK,” he said. “She’s just reading.”

But it wasn’t OK. When we arrived to pick her up, her class was on the playground. The boys came running off the playground in a huge clump, followed by the girls. And then Peanut. Walking alone.

Once in the car, tears started rolling down her sweet face.

“Mary (her classmate and friend from last year) wasn’t in my class this year. I don’t know any of those other girls.”

“Oh sweetie,” I responded, fighting back tears of my own. “You just have to give it time. You are a wonderful person. So nice and so sweet. Look at all the friends you made at the gym this summer. Everyone who knows you loves you and these new kids will too. You just need to give it a little time.”

We talked it through some more and by the time she finished her lunch, she was feeling better. I repeated my pep talk before putting her to bed that night and the next morning she was looking forward to her second day of school.

I had to work that day, but I sat for the first three hours of the day with a lump in my throat and knot in the pit of my stomach.

How was she doing?
Was she OK?
Were the other kids playing with her or was she all alone again?

I called Mark as soon as I knew she’d be home.

“How’d it go? How’d she do?” I asked anxiously.

“Great,” he said. “She’s great. She came home happy and said she made some friends.”

It was like my entire body breathed a huge sigh of relief. Every fiber relaxed. Every cell took in oxygen for the first time in 24 hours.

She made friends on her second day. She’s not just like me. She is going to be OK. Thank. God.

Roll little apple. Roll.

*All names changed.


Monday, September 10, 2007

The silence is deafening

Right now, as I type this, both of my children are in school.

Peanut, in her third year of partial-day preschool, entered the “Fours” class. This is a milestone year since she will attend five mornings a week.

Loaf started in the “Two-and-a-half” class today. She will attend two mornings a week.

So I sit here, at my computer, watching my little cursor blink and blink and listening to nothing. The house is so still, so devoid of noise and life it seems almost like someone else’s house. I have, it seems, forgotten how to function in such a quiet place.

I know I will come to relish these mornings when I can sit and focus, be productive and have more than three minutes to think.

But not today.

Today, the silence fills my ears, pounds at my head and rattles around my brain. Today, it is impossible to focus on anything except the void. Today, my quiet house is the loneliest place on earth and I am counting the minutes until the life comes rushing back into it.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mood swings

This morning, everyone in my house was up at the asscrack of dawn. Trying to make the best of it, we decided to take a quick jaunt into the City (that's New York for those of you who think "the City" could possibly refer to any other metropolitan area. Everyone here knows there is really only one CITYin the whole, wide world) for some delicious treats at Amy's Bread.

I rushed through the shower, quickly dried my hair (which I am still having a love/hate relationship with just incase you were wondering), and put on a bit of makeup. Somewhere in this process, Loaf came into my bathroom and decided she wanted to play in the sink.

This is a no-no. And she knows this. But she continually does it anyway. So I had to remind her that it's not allowed.

Within seconds of my reminder, she was having a full-blown, flat-on-her-back, flailing, feet-stomping-on-ground, crying, rolling, twisting tantrum.

So I took my usual tactic and ignored her. If you read any baby books, they'll say ignoring a tantrum will help diffuse them toot sweet. I think Loaf missed that, because she can carry on a tantrum endlessly.

It went on and on. I walked out of the room and into the kitchen, where I prepped a few things for our trip. Several minutes later, I returned to the bathroom to find her still flat on her back whimpering.

Loaf: Noooo. Mommy. Nooooo. Want sink. Play sink.
Me: Loaf, we're going to go into the City now to have breakfast. Do you want to go?
Loaf: OTAY!

Then she got up and skipped happily down the hall as if the whole thing never happened. Lord help me when this kid hits puberty.


Monday, September 03, 2007


Today—on Labor Day—I went to a parade.
And waved an American flag.
That was made in China.


US Flag: Made in China