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]

Vacation, Week Two

There were two straight days of rain.  The first day felt cozy and lazy.  The second day was frustrating.  Looking at a grim forecast, we felt robbed of our sunscreen-slick skin, our dry, sticky hair, our ice cream on the bench above the beach, our late afternoon grapefruit margaritas by the pool.  The children became restless, squabbly, cranky.  We scrapped our plans to grill spare ribs, contemplated the stove.  Our summertime vibe, man, was at stake.  So. Not. Cool. Puzzles, Candy Land, Netflix.  A fire in the fireplace (in August!).  Cookies in the oven.  A long drive, just to get out. ... [READ MORE]

Love and a Little Crazy

Have you ever found yourself standing in a basement room at 5am, gearing up for two loads of laundry and a two-mile run before breakfast, wondering when, exactly, you started sprinting through life?  5am is not really a reasonable time to do anything besides sleep or drink coffee, and yet here I am using it, milking it, this precious hour before people wake up and start needing things.  When did the rest of my life get so squeezed?  What (misguided) choices am I making that drives me to this point? I like to think I am a good multi-tasker but lately I wonder if I'm actually really ... [READ MORE]

A Chance Encounter with a Dragon

We wear red for the Lunar New Year.  LittleMan's class stages a parade in the school gymnasium.  It is a wise system: the littlest children wear the dragon, so it cannot frighten them.  (LittleMan is too tall, so he follows and bangs a tambourine.) All weekend long the firecrackers snap and pop on the streets near our apartment, Grant Avenue being just a few blocks up the hill.  There are random outbreaks of live music.  We do not go to the parade itself (Mommy is slightly agoraphobic like that), but the city is alive with it, this midwinter celebration of beginnings and endings and good ... [READ MORE]

An Object in Motion, Stopped

We never did give LittleMan that haircut.  He started the 2014 semester with his usual sticking-out 'do, despite our best intentions. We never got to those last few loads of laundry, either; or the thank you notes (deeply grateful though we are...we're working on it, I promise); or The Pile on the kitchen counter that desperately needs to be sorted through and filed.  We did not research the bunk-bed purchase, and I did not update my blog (although I will say with some satisfaction that 2013 was my most prolific year yet, nearly meeting my goal of a post a week).  We are still figuring out ... [READ MORE]

Rear Window

My first apartment in San Francisco was on Franklin Street on the border between Pacific Heights and Russian Hill.  A small but stately building with musty old hallways but beautiful art-deco apartments, painted white and full of windows.  Technically speaking, I had a roommate, a college friend, but she mostly lived with her boyfriend; in the 10 months we "cohabitated" I think she spent two nights there...and that was sort of awkward, because obviously, it was my home at that point.  But I will not complain about any of this because I got a very good deal in the bargain. It was the height ... [READ MORE]

In the Dark

Wherever you are, it is dark. That is the first criterion.  It is dark, and, with any luck, it is quiet.  Because this is the Wind-Down Time. Usually, you are at home, in your baby's room, or in your room; but sometimes, you are in your in-laws' study, or your sister's guest room, or your college buddy's bathroom (in the worst-case scenario, and obviously not speaking from experience, of course).  In any case, the time has come for your child to Wind Down, so you find or create a quiet space to rock and soothe and see it through. If your baby is nursing, the breast does the work.  If ... [READ MORE]