Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The New Book You Should Be Buying

I don't do sponsored posts - and this isn't sponsored  - it's just me telling you that this is a terrific book. My brilliant friend, Tina Bryson has collaborated again with Dr. Dan Siegel to bring us something new. TIna says, "I really believe that if we can replace violent, harsh, scary and reactive parental responses with more conscious, kind, and intentional ones, we can promote insight and empathy and kindness in the world." 

You can get it here
You're either a parent that needs this or you know a parent who does. 

Monday, September 29, 2014


"Mom? You know how me and Felix are keeping journal-diaries now?"

"I do. I think it's great."

"Yeah. I might make mine into a book later. Just, you know, the not secret parts."

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Smacksy Sunday Links

41 regrets you don't want to take to your grave. This is on a site that's new to me. Looks like she has some good stuff.

Cool new finds at Stonehenge.

Assassin's Kittens. I don't really understand this but I enjoyed it anyway.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, September 26, 2014

On the Street Where You Live

"Mom? We are in a suburb, right?"


"A suburb of a city but we also live in a little city-town."


"And that's in a state that's in a country that's on a continent."


"That's on a planet."

"You got it."

"I think it's easier if I just say I'm on this chair and be done with it."

Thursday, September 25, 2014


September has always been my New Year.  The start of school and all of the newness that comes with that: New shoes, new backpack, new teachers, new locker-mate. There is my birthday that falls in mid-September and a new crack at a new age and a chance to make this year the best one ever. Now, that I am a Jew-adjacent thanks to Mr. Rosenberg, this year I also have Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, to add to the new. We are beginning the Days of Awe, the New Year 5775.

I have referenced Annie Dillard's famous quote here before, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." It's one of my favorite reminders to keep conscious about how I choose to allot my time. At my September New Year, I like to revisit the slices that are the pie charts of my days, and see if they are balanced in a way that feels right.

Slice 1.  Being of service to others. At this time in my life, being a helper is an important part of my days. Simply being a mom takes care of that. All of the PTA meetings, rides to soccer practice, and kisses and bandaids, take up the majority of my time. And laundry, let's not forget the never-ending laundry. I am grateful to have the time for all of my people, including a needy dog who eats throw pillows and a fish named Max. Often, my being of service is what love looks like from the outside.

Slice 2. Being of service to myself. I would like to switch this up a bit. I'm doing okay in the basic eating/sleeping/moving around ways. What I am looking for is more easy joy like book reading, and singing in the station wagon on the freeway. I'd like to give myself permission to do more of nothing, with the knowledge that nothing is actually something, and that particular something is important. I want to enjoy my nothing without the guilt that I should be doing something "constructive." More naps, please.

Slice 3. The creative things. This will be the year when I take piano lessons, I write more poetry, and finish writing my novel. I will do lots of writing. And taking pictures. And writing.

Slice 4. The spiritual stuff. Here's where gratitude comes in, and quiet prayer. Smiling at strangers. Keeping a journal. Lighting a candle. Standing quietly in nature. Doing the dishes as a meditation, rather than a chore. Letting that impatient driver merge in front of me. Dancing. All of the other slices can fit into the category of "spiritual stuff" if I do them with the right attitude.

It's a fresh start. It's 5775.
Happy New Year.
L'Shanah Tova Tikatevu.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


"Mom! Did you see me get hit with the soccer ball?"

"I did. Are you okay?"

"I guess so. I wasn't at first."

"Did you get hit in the stomach? Did it knock the wind out of you?"

"No. I got hit in the literal balls. Literally."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

He's A Good Listener

I talk to him a lot. I'm pretty sure he knows exactly what I'm saying. He doesn't talk back, obviously. I mean, not yet.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ten Years Ago

Yesterday was the ten year anniversary of when Mr. Rosenberg and I met. (Ten!) As tradition dictates, I'm re-posting the story of how that happened.

Ten years ago today, I put on my first date uniform (jeans/black high heeled sandals/black knit empire waist top), flat ironed my hair, and emailed my date itinerary to my friend Karen to make it easier for the FBI to track my whereabouts just in case this was the internet date that finally went wrong. This was to be my 53rd first date of the summer. I had a system. The system involved a spreadsheet.

I had been on some second and third and even fourth dates, but it almost always only took one date to “know." Know that his divorce is “sort of almost” final (#22). Know that he was gay as a box of birds (#15). Know that he had insisted on meeting for dinner at an expensive restaurant, then when the bill came tallied up my half – the only guy ever to not pick up the bill (#36). Know that I had dated his brother - awkward (#25). Know that he had looked at my resume on Internet Movie Data Base and oh-my-God was he actually pitching an animated sit-com to me over Korean barbecue? (#41). Yes he was.

When describing the guys to Karen, I used their identifying traits to label them. (Stalker Creep. Dude Looks Like a Lady. Mom Jeans Guy.) Like an FNG in Vietnam, better not to learn their names. Due to a story he had shared with me via email, #53 was identified as Naked Drummer. I tried to reserve judgment.

For some reason, I broke many of my first date safety rules with Naked Drummer. I gave him my address. I let him pick me up. When he came to get me, I let him into my apartment. We went to dinner at Noshi Sushi. None of that is prudent behavior (including Noshi) and I do not recommend any of it.

Naked Drummer and I talked until the restaurant closed around us. When the bill came, Naked Drummer totaled my half with tax and tip. Again, I knew.
I knew he was the best guy ever.

Reader, I married him.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

They're Called "Math Mountains"

"Mom, this math homework is really stressing me out. I'm going to need a really big glass of water and maybe some Advil and a banana cut in pieces with some peanut butter on it."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bright Like A Diamond

"Hey, Felix? Is your dad's wedding ring really plain and gold?"

"Yeah, how'd you know that, Bob?"

"My dad's is too. What about you Desmond?"

"My mom and dad both have those."

"You guys? When I'm married, I want to have a diamond ring. Not just a plain one."

"Me too."

"Me too."

"We're going to be awesome!"



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Law & Order

"Mom? You know how Dad has that problem with taking food off of my plate without asking?"

"Yes, I do."

"No matter how many times I say I'd like him to ask first and that it's a rule?"


"I figured out how to fix it. I'm getting a food restraining order."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Food Stuff

"Dad? I think I have more than one stomach."

"Like a cow?"

"How many do they have?"

"Four. Actually it's one stomach with four compartments."

"Well, I have like eight stomachs. One for pancakes, one for all desserts, one for turkey sandwiches, one for ice cream, oh and a fruit one, and one for popsicles. How many is that? Six? Okay, I guess there's a stomach for some vegetables. Oh! And one for avocado. Is that eight? I think I might have more than eight..."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Smacksy Sunday Links

I don't know that I'm up for this but it does fascinate me: The Buy Nothing Year.

This photographer found real locations for these movie scenes.

And 3:38 of a cat and a lemon slice.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Tomorrow I Will Be Fifty Years-Old

Tomorrow I will be fifty years-old. Fifty. This amazes me. I can't quite wrap my mind around it. When I look in the mirror, I often catch myself off guard, expecting to see younger me. Younger me is somewhere in her late thirties, I'm not sure why that age has stuck in my head but she's the me I look like in my mind.

Because of my dance with drugs and alcohol as a young woman, I never expected to live past twenty-five. After getting sober at twenty-three, I realized that I had no plan, no real concrete goals or any idea of how to get there. As my friends were graduating from college, I left behind my dodgy, short-lived college days and I went to work. I decided to wing it.

In my twenties and thirties, I traveled. I had curly hair and then straight. I enjoyed two careers that were fun and interesting. I spent time with some sweet dogs and cats. I learned to bake bread. I wore dangerous high heels. I made true friends. I had my heart broken. I drove a convertible. I read. I wrote. I stayed sober. They were interesting seasons.

Ten years ago, I met Mr. Rosenberg. Within the year, Bob was on his way. Thanks to an internet dating site and a game changing sushi dinner date in Korea Town, I had managed to stumble into the loves of my life. Now, is my season of motherhood. The soccer games and PTA meetings and wild boys chasing a dog through the house are everything. The tiny moments of folding laundry or helping with homework are lifted up in prayers of gratitude.

I think of a the final scene in Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka has just told Charlie that he will be inheriting the Chocolate Factory. Charlie is, of course, thrilled. Willy Wonka ends the conversation with, "But Charlie, don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he'd always wanted... He lived happily ever after."

Tomorrow I will be fifty years-old. I am living my happily ever after.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


"Mom! I saw an ad that David is on that new show!"

"He is. I think it premieres pretty soon."

"How did he become an actor? I mean how did he learn it?"

"I think he started with some classes but for him, I think it's a gift he has. He has something that can't be taught that makes his acting special."

"What do you mean  - gift? Like a present?"

"An ability he was born with. Think of Dad. He has practiced guitar for a long time to get better and better but I think he also has a musical gift. We all have gifts of one kind or another."

"Yeah, I know what my gift is."

"Being awesome?"

"Yes! How did you know that?"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Team Teddy

"Mom? What happened at the vet today?"

"Teddy's little skin infection thing is mostly gone but he still needs another week of antibiotics to clear it up."

"Is he still taking those strong-man pills?

"What are those? You mean the steroids? That was for itching, not for muscles, but he's all done with those."

"But so, he's like a football player now?"

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


"So, Mom! Come look at the cake me and dad made you! It has dark chocolate, peanut butter pretzels, peanut butter, and coconut oil, and some other stuff but those are the main things. We followed a real recipe, kind of. We smushed everything up and then pushed it really hard into the pan and then we put it in the freezer. When Dad pulled it out to move it into the fridge, he dropped it so it broke all up, but you'll still eat it, right? It tastes really good, I had a tiny chunk off the top. Just a tiny one. Or a couple."

Monday, September 8, 2014

Goal Keeper

"I did pretty good playing goalie today, right Mom?"

"You did a great job, Babe. Hey, you know you can touch the ball with your hands and you don't have to stand still just right in front of the goal, right? You can move around and cover a lot of area."

"Yeah, I know. I just like to challenge myself."

Friday, September 5, 2014

Civic Duties

"Mom, today I was chosen to be on student council."

"That's great, Bud."

"Yeah, I get to go to meetings every two weeks."

"I bet it will be fun."

"Yeah, but how do I always get roped in to these kind of things?"

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wishes For Back-to-School

Second grade is happening. Bob brought home his first homework assignments this week. He has complained about the contents of his packed lunches twice. We have overslept once. He has told us how much he likes his new teacher fourteen times. School is in session.

I am delighted to have been included in a sweet article about what moms are wishing for the school year on EverydayFamily. You can find it Here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Game On

"So? What do you think of your team?'

"The guys are cool. And we picked a cool name."

"Yeah. Emerald Warriors is very cool."

"I think I got better over the summer even though I wasn't playing soccer then. I'm sorta okay now."

"Is that right?"

"Yeah, I'm still not as good as I am at handball though. In handball, I'm a bullet master."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Season Begins

"So, Bob, your first soccer practice is tomorrow. You guys are going to pick your team name."

"I'm not doing soccer this year."

"Yes you are doing soccer this year."

"I don't wanna."

"Back when sign ups happened at the end of the school year, you begged me to do it. You made a commitment. Now you've been placed on a team. There's no turning back."

"Okay, but there's always someone distracting on my team and I end up  never paying attention. That's happened on every team. There's always a guy."

"Honey, I think you're the guy."

"Oh... Well... That's not good because I know I'll be on my team."

Monday, September 1, 2014

White and Pink

Yesterday I stopped in to a florist shop to pick up some birthday flowers for a friend. I picked out some lovely sunflowers for her and had them wrapped up. Then I noticed this glorious arrangement of hydrangeas, roses, and orchids being put together. It was large and I couldn't afford it. I bought it. For myself. For no good reason and every good reason.

I might make it my new Labor Day tradition.