Sunday, August 11, 2013

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

I've been gone a while and definitely owe this space a few (hundred) pictures from our epic New Jersey trip last month, but before I do that...a eulogy. For a car.

We got rid of Big Blue today, the (semi) trusty old Taurus I've had for nine years. It was time. The poor dude just kept breaking down on us, and at some point you need to just stop pouring money into the dang thing for repairs. But nine years is a while, man. Nine years of back and forth to various jobs, nine years of wild nights to the city, nine years of transporting various kids, definitely nine years worth of crumbs and snacks and crumpled leaves and spilled coffee dumped onto the seats. So, so many memories in that giant blue sedan. I miss it already. I get so incredibly sentimental when I think of all the good stuff that happened with that car, driving down to our wedding and honeymoon or bringing Sody home from the hospital...but I didn't expect Sody to be so sad about the car too. She and I took our last drive in it this morning. She chose "Free to Be You and Me" as the last cd we would listen to and she talked the whole time about how she didn't want to get rid of the car. There were tears. And she physically kissed and hugged the car when we got out too.

We got ourselves a new (to us) Hyundai to replace it, and Sody is not on board with it yet at all. But considering all the changes in her year so far - new home, new classroom, new car - she is doing pretty great. And maybe the sunroof will win her over.

Monday, June 17, 2013

June is Trying to Kill Me

I don't know about you, but June has been coo-coo-kachoo crazy busy around here. We kicked it off with Joe's birthday (and its traditional birthday meal of mac and cheese, Brussels sprouts, and root beer of course) and I took a crack at making something called Crack Pie. It was sweet and salty and addictive and it made Sody say, "Everybody take off your clothes! It's a naked party!" So if you are looking for that sort of reaction at your next party, just ask and I will send the recipe.

Then Sody officially started Pre-K! Same preschool, but the older kids moved into the big kids' building next door. She has been waiting and waiting and totally ready to go over to that classroom, and it's been nothing but positive so far. They have a big piece of butcher paper in there where they did a "first week feelings" project with quotes from all the kids about how they feel about changing to a new class. Sody's quote was that she was "happy, because there are new things and new toys and a new carpet." Never underestimate the power of a new carpet, people.

Next up was a quick (like, 24 hour quick) visit from the illustrious Ms. Beth, official Best Friend Til the End. We were short on time but we crammed it full of dinner and walking and going to the movies and staying up way way way too late and eating ice cream for lunch. Your basic BFF activities. It was short, but very sweet.

Then, our lovely friends Alice and Dan (who had betrayed us three years ago by moving back to their native Australia) (just kidding, guys!) came back for a visit. So long overdue. And they came back with their Lenny - almost the exact same age as Sody, because we all met in the hospital childbirth classes - as well as new (to us) addition, Alfie. Lenny was Sody's first betrothed when they were little littles, but we haven't gotten around to arranging the wedding during this visit. Maybe next time?

And theeeeeen...Sody had her very first sleepover! She spent the night at her buddy Francesca's house and she was so, so excited. I wasn't worried at all about her being apprehensive about staying at a new place, because she is always trying to kick out mom and dad from every playdate she goes on. Little Miss Independent is just thrilled to be somewhere all on her own, which is great. What is maybe not so great is that we found out she is a late night party animal outside of this house too. Apparently the girls were talking and giggling pretty late (natch) so Francesca's mom told them if they didn't stop, they would be separated. But our little nugget didn't quit for so long she wore poor Francesca out...Francesca eventually went back to her mom and asked to be separated. This story cracks me up but also terrifies me for when Sody is a teenager.

Like right now it's almost ten and I hear Sody singing in her room, loudly, nowhere near sleepy. Sigh.

What else has happened in June? Father's Day and school potluck and a real date night for mom and dad (totally great, totally needed) and work and insomnia and cooking and a lot of soapmaking. Whew. I would try to catch my breath but right around the corner is...New Jersey! I should start packing instead of writing this but oh well. I will sleep next week. I hope.

pre-k! (with awesome headband)

lenny! (with his adorable accent)


packed bag for sleepover! (when she packed it all by herself she packed: 2 books, one blanket, one pair of pajamas, and about ten small stuffed animals. you know...just in case there was, like, a stuffed animal emergency)
I love summertime!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Playing Hooky

We had a super epic day playing hooky last week. Joe, being from South Jersey, is a Phillies fan, and guess who was in town recently to play the Giants? So we skipped work, pulled Sody out of school, and took the ferry into SF for a baseball game. The unpredictable San Francisco weather was the only iffy part of the day (we weren't super prepared for coldness, but at least I threw a pair of leggings in my bag for Sody "just in case" because they surely got used) but everything else was fantastic. The boat ride together, the views, the gorgeous ballpark, garlic fries, a kids play area where Sody got to hit a ball and run the bases (later, when she saw the real field when the game started, she said "This one is bigger than the kid's field. Why?"), her attention span for the game and sitting in her seat and just taking in everything, all of it. Also - this was cool - one of Sody's friends from school has a mom who is a sportswriter who happened to be working that day, so she gave us a tour of the press box. Sody fist-bumped someone kinda famous there but I can't remember who and Joe is asleep so I can't verify this right now. He was big and he had a huge World Series ring. That's all I know. But the point is, the whole day was pretty rad and special. Perfect family day.

Special shout out to my in-laws for supplying all the Phillies gear in recent years, because we were completely decked out!




Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Weekend fun timez

A sampling of what our weekends look like:
going for walks in the 'hood

getting pumped up to go work out with Dad - they went running together

swimming! our new building has a pool! we are so, so excited about this!

first soup-in-a-bread-bowl experience. she wanted to order chili and I had no idea she liked chili before this...I only make chunky veg chili which she has never had any interest in, but apparently the chili at school is awesome and she loves it. specifically with rice and cheese on top. so thank you, Teacher Carmen, for your fabulous cooking! sody loves your cheeseburgers, too.

making art: the start

making art: it's finished.
(I know it's probably obvious to you that the big one is Daddy, the next person is Mommy, and the last little one that looks like just a head is Sody. the scribble squiggle lines are her "writing" which says, "dear pop-pop, I hope you like this picture that I made for you.")

hanging with buds. digging in sand while wearing princess dresses. of course.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

And This is What You Call Mom Guilt

Apologies if you have heard this story already; I can't seem to shut up about it. I did something dumb. It didn't cause the world to end or anything, but it sort of ruined something for Sody and made me feel horrible and and it was all. my. fault. We are over it now (actually, Sody was over it right away, I am the only one that felt so awful about it) but Mom Guilt is so real and so powerful. Waaaaah.

Let me explain.

A few weeks back, there was a birthday party for one of Sody's school friends. She had been looking forward to this party for quite a while, and truth be told, so were we: all our preschool-parent homies were going to be there (we have gotten pretty close with some of the couples at school lately) and there was going to be a hired "fairy" on hand to do face painting and balloons and yadda yadda yadda. Also, the birthday girl's mom was a former pastry chef so I wanted to eat all the treats. (I have my priorities, people.)
So Sody was on a countdown for the upcoming party. The day before, we went to buy a birthday present and ended up getting Sody a purple "princess" dress (her first one, I couldn't resist because it was cheap and she was being so good and she was SO excited to wear it to the party) and she was literally telling *everyone* we saw (store clerks, customers, whoever) that "she was going to a party and there was going to be a REAL fairy there with face paint and balloons" and on and on and on. And on. No joke. She was crazy excited. So we got our outfits and the present and the card all finished, and we were just so, so ready for this party.
Sunday, party day. Sody woke up ready to roll. But we had to wait aaaaaaall morning, until 2:00 pm, party time. Endless morning. And then finally - finally! - we left for the party and Sody was crazy on the way there, just so ready to show off her dress to all her school friends and meet this real fairy and get her face painted and eat cupcakes. We pulled up to the house and noticed that some people were filing out. Quickly, horribly, gut-wrenchingly realized that the party ENDED at 2:00, not started at 2:00. I had read the Evite wrong in my haste.
I made her miss the one thing she had been so, so excited for. The birthday girl's parents were awesome and let us stay and hang out, so it wasn't so traumatic. And we actually ended up staying a loooong time and essentially had a playdate:  the girls played and trashed what was left of the cake, the grownups had beers, the mom found some old face paint so we could paint something on Sody's face, since she had missed the face-painting fairy. She really took it like a champ - there was some questioning of "why are all my school friends gone? where is the fairy?" but in general she accepted (or didn't comprehend) that we had completely missed the boat - but I was literally near tears a good part of the afternoon. I know she had a fun day anyway, but knowing what she was supposed to have made me feel terrible. Knowing that I had made her miss it made me feel terrible. I ruined the thing she had been looking forward to.

It seems kind of silly, thinking of it all now...but at the time, it just crushed me. Like, I always feel like there is never enough time with her during the week, so the weekends are our time together and I want to make it good. It needs to count. Or otherwise I am going to be a constant pile of tears about how I just never see my kid. So, then when the big anticipated fun weekend times get screwed up, I just feel like I am failing on all counts.

Being a working mother blows.

Friday, April 26, 2013

She's Right, I'm Not

We have our toothbrushes in the same little drawer in the bathroom, and for some reason I keep taking out mine and putting her kiddie toothpaste on it. I did it again this morning, caught myself, and then said "Sody, you won't believe what I did again, I put the toothpaste on MY brush, not yours...what is wrong with me? I must be going crazy!" and she replies:
"You are not sleeping enough."
She is a wise one, my friends.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Well, Hello Again...

Back from the dead! Sorta. I am not even going to attempt to catch you up (my loyal 2 readers who, maybe, possibly, on a remote off chance take a look at this here thing at some point again) on all that has happened in the last couple months because there is just way, way too much to say. Not only did we go off and get ourselves a new place, but mom went out and got a new job too. Like one major life change at a time wasn't enough for me or something. I've been a little shell-shocked but am crawling out from beneath all craziness and the boxes to unpack and the new stuff to learn at work. Not gonna lie, it's been a lot to deal with all at once. But, here we are, plowing through as usual...because what else can you do, right?
Instead of attempting to explain the last couple months, I am just going to leave you with a little nugget from Sody tonight at dinner. I started this off with the tomatoes and corn, and she rearranged and added a stem of berries: 
                                     "I made you a flower for Mother's Day, Mommy!"

                          (heart-meltingly cute AND she is ahead of time...good girl, Sody...)

Friday, February 22, 2013


So, we found a new apartment! Not gonna lie, it was a bit of a rough search this go-round but we finally got one. We are currently surrounded by a fairly big mess and I predict it will be this way for a little while. Joe moved in about a thousand or so boxes today (all by himself! what a husband!) but Official Moving Day is tomorrow.  So until all the dust settles with this move we are going to disappear a bit from blogland. 

Oddly (and wonderfully) enough, the new place is just a few blocks down the street from our current home. We picked up the keys today and took Sody over for her first look at the place. We have been talking it up a lot and trying to pump her up, and her reaction did not disappoint: she ran out to the covered porch/sunroom (my favorite feature) and started shouting, "Wow! This is great! You picked the best house! You are the best family!" Which basically made us melt into a big puddle of happy parent goo. Very thankful that she is excited about the move too...but really, all we needed to tell her was that the new building has a pool. The day we told her that she was sold.

We toasted our last night here with pizza and root beer. Can't really think of anything more fitting for us. It's been a great little house for us for the past three years, longest we've stayed in one spot for some time. And the things we like most about it - great location, nice neighbors, friends nearby - are all things that are still going to apply. I will be even closer to Trader Joe's than I was before! I have turned a five minute walk into a two minute walk! Ridiculous! And though we are still on the same street, the new building is set back so we won't be missing the crazy traffic and thumping bass and horrendous motorcycles and huge semis that literally shake our windows. Good riddance to all that. Onto bigger and better. Though it was weird to make the realization tonight that Sody just turned four and is about to move into her fourth home. Eeeek.

New transmissions from our new pad coming soon!

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Has it been a while since I have sung the praises of Sody's preschool? Because I am about to do that again right now. We love her school. We love the teachers and the setting and the curriculum and the food they provide and the friends she has made there and the friends we have made there through her. She's kind of popular (not bragging or exaggerating here, she just is...everybody just knows her. Parents included - she's got her own in-jokes with some of the other parents there. There are so many parents we have met where we have no clue who they are but they totally know Sody. So we jokingly call her the Mayor of the place) and she loves it there too. It's hard to get her to leave at the end of the day most of the time...which, after being there from 8:00ish to 5:15, is pretty damn impressive. Definitely a good sign.

And we love the curriculum. Here's something that impressed me at pick-up the other day. The kids are studying Black History Month right now, and when we went into the main classroom there were pics of Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, etc. And Sody just pointed to Rosa Parks and started telling me her story. Correctly! So impressive. So great.

They get music time too, with a music teacher coming in weekly. And they have the songs they sing every morning as a group in circle time. The other day I said something about a band to Sody and she said, "Hey we learned about a band at school! Pop band. Soul. Rock band." Which just killed me. Sometimes she sings to herself at night after we tuck her in, and the other night I caught her singing my favorite song she learned at school:

"Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Then comes Saturday
Let's begin again.

Domingo, Lunes, Martes
Miercoles, Jueves, Viernes
Luego viene Sabado
Aqui terminamos."

I hope she keeps loving school as long as possible!

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Look at me, back here already...see, I am sticking to at least one resolution so far. I don't know about you, but we have already had an eventful 2013 around here. First and most important: Sody turned FOUR last week. I can't believe it either. We baked a whole mess of pink cupcakes for her to take to school:
Part of me was swearing as I was making the cupcakes, frosting them at midnight, almost wishing I was the kind of mom who could go buy cupcakes at the supermarket bakery and not feel guilty about it. I am so not that mother. Kudos to them, though. Seriously.

After school we took her out to Fenton's for her birthday dinner, where she spent the entire meal asking when they were going to come sing to her (the whole restaurant sings to the birthday peeps) and then when they actually did come sing to her she looked kind of terrified about it. But then immediately after she looked like this:

So she had a good birthday. We also celebrated at Chuck E. Cheese with Grandma and Grandpa over the weekend, but I forgot my phone at home (the horrors! I felt naked!) so you will just have to trust it was a fun time, even though I have no photographic evidence. It was chaotic and loud and packed and everything else you expect Chuck E. Cheese to be on a weekend at lunchtime. Next year, I vow to be there when they open at 9:00 am and we will just have pizza for breakfast so as to avoid the masses of annoying kids who have no manners and no parents watching them. (Most of the clientele there, trust me.) Still, I ruled the Skee-ball and found a new hidden talent for the basketball game. It's possible I missed my true calling as a member of the WNBA.
The other major piece of news from our year so far is we got a notice in our mailbox that we need to move. BUMMER. Building was sold, new owners moving in, blah blah blah. We have a decent amount of time to get out, but still...Ugh. Moving is the worst. And finding a place is our price range is not exactly easy in these parts. It was a bit of a freak out when we found out but now we are getting used to the news. Starting to buckle down with the search and trying to be positive about this:  clean everything up and clear it out, get a fresh start, and who knows - maybe we will actually find a place with double-paned windows? (the dream! along with a quiet street and washer/dryer hookups and hardwood floors, because kids and apartment carpet do not mix.)
The thing I am most itrritated about with this move is the timing: it screws up plans I was hatching for Sody's birthday party here at the house. Every weekend is now going to be devoted to searching/packing/moving/etc, so no time for a birthday party right now. It's been about a thousand years since we last had a party (probably her last birthday?) and I live for her silly little homemade birthday parties. I love having a theme and making all the dumb stuff like the goodie bags and the treats and putting up the stupid streamers and balloons. I love it. I am still determined for her to have one, though, because there is nothing worse than letting a good theme go to waste, amiright? So be it if it's months late... we'll do it in the summertime, combine with Joe's birthday or something.
Speaking of Joe - this will be yet another wedding anniversary where we have to move instead of doing something actually fun. This will make the third anniversary where we have moved on (or very near) our anniversary date. So weird, right? We are coming up on our five year anniversary, which seems like a good one to go for a real celebration...but NOPE! Moving it is! The U-Haul company must love us.
Keep your fingers crossed for us, we need it.