Oscar Night in Wine Country

I'm lying all curled up in a bed in a Hilton in Santa Rosa. For the record, I've been lying in this bed for THREE HOURS. For the record, it's 9:36pm. It's been grand. I literally cannot remember the last time I spent THREE HOURS -- three reasonably day-lit, dinner-bath-and-bedtime-ish hours -- doing so much of absolutely nothing.  Besides watching the Oscars!  Drinking wine!  And doing an experimental "energizing Korean face mask" that my beauty-guru girlfriend gave me for Christmas! I feel simultaneously giddy and terrible.  Surely, somewhere in this world, there is laundry to ... [READ MORE]

Strange Places

These are strange days.  The rain has been endless, the news has been relentless, and the children have been so sick.  Fevers and sniffles and that croaking cough that haunts our sleep.  I spent all of last Wednesday night in the octopus-like grip of Babygirl as she hacked her way restlessly through the long, dark hours, the humidifier bubbling steam into the bottom bunk.  I awoke after intermittent rest with a stiff neck and a child no closer to being healthy.  We have been housebound, all of us together in this apartment high above the city, for what feels like weeks.  I am grateful for our ... [READ MORE]

The Most Perfect Roller Coaster

A funny thing has happened in the past couple of months that my husband and I are just beginning to wrap our heads around, in that way that you notice something but you're not sure it's real yet, and you don't want to get too excited or even name it lest it turn out to be a phantom or a fluke: Our kids seem to be becoming...friends. This quiet, joyful turn in their too-often-fraught sibling relationship coincides with another funny thing happening -- that I have very mixed feelings about -- and that is the fact that my Babygirl, my tiny dancer daughter born with the big smile and the Buddha ... [READ MORE]

The Only Grown-Up in the Room

Home.  It's good to be home. Last week, after a glorious, extended July 4th weekend, I found myself standing in a hot, dry wind in the parking lot of an insurance office -- or possibly a bank, I'm honestly not sure -- in Travis, California.  My heart was beating in my ears and every inch of me was sweating as I stared at our crumpled hatchback and (perhaps slightly hysterically) instructed the agitated children in the backseat to PLEASE AFTER EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED JUST STAY IN THE CAR. I was breathing hard, trying process all the thoughts and questions stacking up in my mind.  In no ... [READ MORE]

Nature

LittleMan and I announced our arrival at Mother-Son Scout Weekend by nearly killing some people and damaging Boy Scout property. In a move that would elicit more than a few "Oh, that was YOU..." comments in the ensuing 24 hours, we (and by we I mean, ahem, A Scout is Helpful) lost control of the steel wagon we had used to haul our two bags up a bumpy hill from the fairgrounds to the campsite, sending it rocketing back down the hill, scattering 7-year-old boys and their already-kind-of-skeptical mothers in all directions before it hurtled into a creek bed about ten feet deep. As I ... [READ MORE]

Failure: An Anecdote in Three Parts

I. Signs that you have not had enough downtime in the last six months or so: You get so excited just to be alone in an airport bookstore that YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT. In my defense, the entire landscape of the SFO Terminal 3 has changed significantly since the last time I was on an airplane back in the Dark Ages.  It’s all vast and light-filled and there are about 50 restaurants.  Walking into it I was like a child who hasn’t seen the outside world before. Also, the flight left ahead of schedule by about ten minutes.  (This, by the way, is why they advise you to be at the gate 30 minutes ... [READ MORE]

Beauty Lurking Everywhere

For the second year in a row, a massive wildfire scuttled our plans to take to the mountains for one last gasp of summer. If parenthood teaches you nothing else, it teaches you how to flex.  And so noon on a September Friday found me with the car fully loaded, THREE children wedged into the backseat (we borrowed a friend of LittleMan's for the weekend, in a rather foolhardy weekend-long play at our first-ever sleepover), and no clue where I was headed.  My husband called: "Guerneville.  Check your email for the map.  I'll be out front of the office." Lake Tahoe, Russian River...any old ... [READ MORE]