Last week we went back to Kentucky for a very special wedding.


Paul officiated, Tiny played a starring role.


It was absolutely beautiful, and a great party.

I was only in Kentucky for about 48 hours, not long enough to do much except wedding.  Post-wedding we left our terror in a tutu with Opa and Nana and headed, just the two of us, to one of my MOST FAVORITE places.  NYC.


I lived in New York for a couple of months after graduating college.  I have very fond memories of my time there. Weird things make me nostalgic…the sound of squealing train brakes, navigating the crowds in Penn Station, even the smell of the subway gives me little excited shivers.  I feel like every time you step out your door it’s a mini-adventure.  I love New York.

Paul had never been.  So we went all over.

IMG_20150528_113403 IMG_20150527_173458 IMG_20150603_120000IMG_20150529_123004 IMG_20150603_120300 IMG_20150529_093613

We even took the train into New Jersey so Paul could say he’d been to that tourist trap (aka we went to my college reunion.)

Spring in New York is awesome.  The park is awesome.  Everyone is so happy to be back outside. Sidewalk cafes are open.  IT IS AWESOME.

But for some reason, this time around, a lot of the old heartstrings weren’t pulled the same way they usually are.  Maybe it’s because Paul was with me, maybe I’m getting old and my sense of adventure is dwindling, maybe it’s that those days a getting further away, the memories a little fuzzier.

When we got back on a Sunday there was the normal post-vacation hangover and sense of dread for the upcoming work week.

But our first night home I noticed, for the first time, how quiet our street is.  When I opened the windows of the house, the smell of basil and lemon blossoms wafted in.  I didn’t even curse when, at 2am, I tripped on the training toilet sitting on the floor of our bathroom.

New York is awesome.  Kentucky is beautiful.  But sometimes there’s just something about coming home.


Forever Young


You know how they say that one of the best parts of being a parent is re-living your childhood?   A few weeks ago I bought bubbles.


I hadn’t really up until that point, but if you think about it, bubbles are pretty crazy.  Especially if you’re starting from scratch.  Out of nowhere emerges a translucent, floating globe that is rainbow and glassy and fragile and silent and drifts on the wind…non-existent, here, then gone.

Tiny was fascinated by them.  And terrified.  Kind of how she was with stickers the first time the guy at Trader Joes handed her one and it stuck to her hand.  Panic.


She’s since recovered.  Hello Kitty stickers now adorn every knee-level item in our home.  Including Spike.

True to form, within a day she overcame her bubble fear and has since attempted to drink the the soap whenever it’s left unattended and started demanding bubbles at bath time.

But now she knows what to expect.  She still gets excited when one suddenly appears, but they aren’t quite so mysterious anymore.  There’s no moment of silent terror when a bubble slowly drifts towards her head, no trepidation in reaching out to pop one.  Some of that magic has already dissipated. It’s amazing how quickly that begins to happen.  And it makes me a little sad.

Fortunately the world is full of everyday objects that I no longer notice, waiting to be discovered by two year olds.  Because taking a moment to realize how incredible it is that an airplane can go zooming by 5,000 feet over your head makes life so much more fun.  Sometimes you just need someone to remind you.


death-of-con-5__880photo via

The other day I was doing work at a hip, super minimalist cafe located in an old warehouse that only provides agave syrup to sweeten your artisanal coffee, and I watched while the girl sitting next to me spent (no exaggeration) 10 minutes arranging her glass of coffee (coffee here is served in glasses, water in mason jars) and the 2 succulent plants on the table, and took about 45 pictures from about 20 different angles.

It took a very long time.  She looked ridiculous.  And her coffee must have been cold by the time she actually sat down to drink it.

Not that I am one to throw stones.  As a reader of this blog you know I do shit like this all the time.

IMG_20150109_112304i took the picture because the tree had a loop

But watching this girl I thought, this has surpassed fun and morphed into something weird.


Last night, after MONTHS of talking about it, we finally decided to switch to a new carrier and get new phones (my phone has been in it’s death throes for almost a year).

Our new carrier does not subsidize the cost of the hardware of the phone.  So we walked into the store and I started looking at the retail prices of new smartphones.

$600, $700, $800…

Hold up.  Do I really need a $700 phone?

I found myself thinking about life before my smartphone.  When I had to look up a recipe before I went into the store.  When I couldn’t check my email unless I was at my computer, at my desk.  When I had to wait more than 30 seconds to actually listen to a song that was stuck in my head.

But along with this convenience I’ve undoubtedly experienced a loss of basic skills, including (but not limited to) the ability to:

  • Read a map/have any sense at all of where I am when I’m driving (a couple of months ago as I was driving to an office in Hawthorne for the 5th time in 14 days, Waze bailed on me…and I FREAKED, convinced I was about to accidentally turn down South Vermont because I had no idea that it was 5 miles away. Because I had no idea where I was. Because I hadn’t paid attention before.  Because I hadn’t needed to.)
  • Take longer than 3 seconds to try to figure something out.
  • Remain calm when a public facility has horrible or no wireless or cell service.
  • Wait in line.
  • Relax and enjoy anything without fighting the urge to pull my phone out to take a picture.


I do really love that I can hail a car, find a recipe, or see what my friend in Shanghai ate for breakfast whenever the mood strikes.  But it’s a tradeoff.  Because I am pretty sure that net-net, my smartphone has made me dumber.

A flip phone is smaller and cheaper.  And if HH accidentally dials my old boss again, I know for a fact that I can hang up (because even if the touch screen goes blank, I can always just close the phone) and not force both of us into an awkward conversation.  I could stop feeling the compulsion to constantly check my emails, texts, Instagram, FB feed…it would allow me to break free from these Pavlovian reflexes and reconnect with the real world!

IMG_0429my dad in the real world
…as seen through my phone

I got the Samsung Galaxy 5.  Because podcasts.

Maybe I can hold off installing Instagram…




…at least for a week.

Morning DooDoo


Paul was home this weekend.  And life got like 4 bijillion times better.

I know correlation doesn’t always imply causality, but this weekend I became sane and HH slept through the night.  So that was miraculous and glorious.  It was also the first lazy weekend morning I’ve had in forever…even though we were up riding our trikes at 7am.

Paul also downloaded a free doodling iPad app for HH called DooDoo Lite, and spent the whole weekend talking to HH about making doodoos. But I actually got to spend some time BY MYSELF and finished Season 5 of the Good Wife, so he could have been teaching her how to juggle knives, I didn’t care.

Now it’s Monday, back at the grind.  But I feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle whatever comes at me.  Even this.


I wasn’t totally wrong.  Sometimes you do just have to hang in there a little longer.



We’re back.  And I came home to…


peppers peppers everywhere!  Our garden is exploding with peppers.  I don’t know if you can tell, but this misshapen (?) “sweet bell pepper” is HUGE, like the size of my hand.  It was pulling the whole tiny little plant over.


…and our red bell pepper, which is green…


…and two huge Anaheim peppers.  And our tomato plants are (literally) 5 feet tall.


I have to go find a stake to hold them up, they are so big they’re pulling the cages out of the ground and taking over the entire garden box.  Out of control.

I also came home to some mild disarray.  The fridge was barren, the garden more or less ignored, things had been put in the wrong place.  (For the record, I’m not knocking Paul at all. He’s working 13 hour shifts and flipping back and forth between nights and days, I don’t expect him to come home and worry about which cupboard the blue bowls go in.  I’m impressed they made it into any cupboard at all.)

So this Sunday morning I woke up at 6 and got to work.  I fed the baby and cleaned the kitchen and tended the garden and did 3 loads of laundry and put the dishes back where they belong.  I unpacked, cleaned our bedroom, folded clothes, made some fresh hummingbird nectar and hung up the feeder so I can watch them out the front window while I do work.  All before 8:30am.  Humming the whole time I did it.  I like putting things where they belong, having a clean house and a neat, productive garden and a kitchen that smells like something delicious baking.  I don’t just endure making these things happen, I LIKE it.


Time out.  Hold on.  What is happening here.  Is…is this middle age?  Is this how it happens?  Gradually, your life becomes so mundane that you look forward to mopping the kitchen floor and begin using phrases like “tend the garden”?  Is this how it starts?  Oh my god, am I a boring mom?  Is this how it all goes down??

But I had plans!  I was going to lead a life of international intrigue!  Of adventure!  I was going to do big important things!  I was going to save the world!  I was going to–oh my, look how my squash plant has started to come back.


Do you see?  Do you see how that just happens?  Can you fight it?  Is there any going back?

It may be time for a dramatic re-evaluation of my life trajectory.  But until then (and because it’s time-sensitive), there are some overripe bananas that were neglected this week sitting in our kitchen that need to be made into banana bread.