Monday, September 30, 2013

Cleaning Tutorial

Now.  Let's say that you suddenly find yourself in possession of a 3-year old who has a whole bottle of glitter in her hair.  Vacuuming is probably your best option but be warned that vacuuming your child's hair is the same as ratting it and the post clean-up comb-out wont be easy. 

And there will still be glitter. Lots of it. Everywhere.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Orchard Beach

A couple of weeks ago (just after Labor Day) we ventured to Orchard Beach. Orchard Beach is a man-made beach in the Bronx that, at the time it was built, was called 'The Riviera of New York.'  It is lovely and looking out over the long boardwalk and playground there is a hint of ancient glamour.

Of course The Rivera of New York has fallen somewhat out of favor due to the fact that it is built on the toxic sludge that is Long Island Sound. 

Pay no attention to the dark patches of sand there all along the shore--who knows what that is.

I hear that in season Orchard Beach is a hotspot for local teenagers but off season we only had to share the beach with a couple of old leathery women who were cranking the boom box one of them had hooked up to her walker. Needless to say we're going to try to go back every week until the weather turns.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Snack Time

Scene: Our house. 4:00.  Snack Time

Claire: These crackers do NOT taste good when I was just eating toothpaste

Me: Were you just eating toothpaste?

Claire: Yes

Me: Why were you eating toothpaste in the middle of the afternoon? {the ridiculousness of this question does not escape me}

Claire: I just like it

Me:  Were you eating my toothpaste or your toothpaste?

Claire: Your toothpaste.  Mine has a lid.  Yours doesn't.  If you leave toothpaste with no lid then I am going to eat it. But your lid fell in the garbage and is lost so I will eat your toothpaste.

Let's hope that the extra fluoride will help with the fact that a couple of weeks ago Claire had a bad fall on the Brooklyn Bridge and suddenly last week her smile transformed to this

Everything I've read online says that there's a good chance it will lighten up again but also a chance that it won't.  We'll see what the dentist says when we see her next week

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Throw up

It was definitely throw up. 

He did it again right as we started off our 6 hour drive home and my friends, stinky does not even begin to describe the long ride home.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Niagara Falls

Our trip to Niagara Falls can be summed up by saying 
1) rain
2) the power was out at Niagara Falls so there were no bathrooms
3) honestly just asked "how do you tell the difference between puke and spit-up in a baby? Because if it's quantity based we're in trouble."

We're having a great time. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


This weekend we took the kids camping (aka an experiment to see just how long each of us could go without actually sleeping.)

It rained.

We put up the tent in the rain.  I wiped out the inside of the tent and we immediately put the kids in.  We played in the tent (which Noah thought of as a cold and drafty prison) and went to bed.  It rained all night long and then sprinkled throughout the whole next day.  We laughed and quoted the brilliant "Stuff White People Like" entry on camping;

"If you find yourself trapped in the middle of the woods without electricity, running water, or a car you would likely describe that situation as a “nightmare” or “a worse case scenario like after plane crash or something.” White people refer to it as “camping.”

There were parts of the experience that were nightmareish (like when I had to take Noah to the car at 3 in the morning and sleep with him cuddled in my arms) but there was also something so magical about being in the woods--especially with someone who is 3.

We threw rocks in the water and made wishes (Claire wished that we would have a backyard just like grandmas--she asked me if I thought it would be there when we got home), we collected leaves that were just starting to change colors (all leaves that had at least 3 colors on them were offically deemed magical) then threw them in the fire.  I'm also pretty sure that I am now a princess forever thanks to a very elaborate smoke ceremony that involved Claire poking a stick into the fire and then waving the smoking end around and around.

I wish you could actually see the salamandar she is petting in this picture.  They were everywhere

Camping with a crawler.  Bring a pack n' play and set it up by the fire with toys in it.  We also set up an extra tent just for the kids to play in so the didn't track mud into our tent.  Speaking of our tent--we have the greatest tent.  It rained all night and nothing was wet.  You should get it but buy it used because who has $300 to spend on a tent?  We got ours for $25 at the REI used gear sale.  Best. Tent. Ever.

Don't mind the fashion statement here with my hood up. Noah likes to pull the hairs on the back of your neck when he rides in the carrier.

Claire took this one

Claire was only consoled about coming home by the fact that we told her that this weekend we are staying at a hotel that has a swimming pool on the way to Niagra Falls.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,
Your birthday card is not going to arrive on time.  This afternoon, after naps, I had the kids clothed and in shoes (which, I assure you, is a bigger accomplishment than it seems like it is) and we were really ready to walk to the park and drop your birthday letter in mailbox on the way.  Noah was playing in the cupboards (he managed to open a bottle of maple syrup but with cat-like reflexes I grabbed it after he only got one swig) I turned around and this is what I saw (pay no attention to the laundry all over the room--it was laundry day).

She was sitting in the rocking snail, singing to herself, talking to herself and watching the drapes blow in the breeze. And just before I went to rush her out the door I stopped because I was struck with just how fleeting youth is.  Claire is 3.  She doesn't have that many more years to sit and watch the drapes blow in the breeze.  This past week my social media feeds have been over run with pictures of beaming children as they set off for their first day of school.  My heart ached a little and a personal parenting insecurity reared its ugly head.  We are not sending Claire to preschool this year.  We're doing a coop preschool with a couple of friends and next year she'll go to 1/2 day preschool at a school in town.  I just decided that I wasn't ready to give her up yet.  I am not ready to rush her out the door and make her keep a schedule.  I stay at home with my kids so I can stay at home with my kids.

And as all those thoughts were running through my head Claire, while rocking back and forth in her little snail, piped up and said, "Some day I'm going to go to college."

I agreed.

She then questioned, "Are there colleges here?"

I told her that there were but there were colleges all over the world and she could pick any of them.  She though about it for a minute and then said, "It just will be what I do when I grow up but I don't know what I want to do when I grow up." {she understands that college and what you do for a living are connected but there is still some question there}

I told her she could be anything she wanted.  She then started listing possibilities which included 1) drive a car and be a helper 2) Climb trees and bring a rope to people who don't have ropes and 3) go all over the world picking flowers.

And that's it.  That's the reason your birthday card won't be there on time--because we talked about college and what she wants to do when she grows up and she sat in her snail for a half an hour watching the breeze blow the curtains.  And some time later (after the final mail pick-up) when we did make our way to the park....I just...I wish you could have seen it.  She was with her friend Ohana and they were on bikes and the weather was perfect and the light had that long golden quality that you can only find in the fall {never mind that just a few moments later she flew over her handle bars trying to follow Ohana up a curb--she was fine}.  I watched her little legs pumping trying to keep up, face a mix of terror and joy as they zoomed down the hills

 and I just loved her was gold*.

So I'm sorry.  But not that sorry.

Your letter should arrive on Monday.

Happy Birthday.

*Nothing Gold Can Stay
Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay.