Sunday, September 25, 2011

What a Day

So much to say, but here's a funny thing that happened today - I met a bunch of guys who were on "The Biggest Loser"! They joined us for the Largest Zumba Party in NYC History, celebrating the launch of the mobile enhanced version of Pretty random. Pretty cool.

Biggest Losers Mark Pinhasovich, Frado Dinten, Danny Cahill & Patrick House

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Autumn Snack

Apples, cheddar cheese and Fine Cooking magazine. Lovely!

Fall & Other Musings

It's 8:40 AM on a Sunday morning. My sweet, angelic daughter is still asleep. So is my sweet, angelic husband. The house is quiet, and I'm enjoying the cooler, fall air, the warmth of my morning tea and cuddling up with my brother's birthday present. It's perfect.

Fall is officially here, given our morning started with a cool 56 degrees. It's a gorgeous morning - sun shinning, sea gulls crying, the hum of traffic as quiet as it gets in NYC. I'm looking forward to a day with my family. Hopefully it will include a trip to the farmers market (which we never get to anymore), a long walk in Riverside Park, lunch out and about.

This time of year is hopelessly romantic for me. I've written about it in the past, and yet the feeling of anticipation and anxiety and possibility always takes me by surprise. We shake off the summer doldrums and reconnect with what's happening in the world, feeling like something meaningful might change. I never quite feel like I take full advantage of the fall, but hope I do better with each passing year.

And now, back to my book, the quiet, and my morning tea...

(Oh, and PS, did I mention we found a new nanny yesterday? She starts tomorrow...)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Today was not the best day, either. The main event: our nanny quit. With 2 days notice. She has asthma and J & A's cat has been making her pretty sick. So it wasn't a huge surprise. But it is disappointing, and stressful.

But there was this:

And then this:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Today was a bad day. It started with nightmares about losing Alice on the A train. It continued with my mom spending the day in the basement of the American Embassy in Kabul, trying to stay safe during the attacks.

I did not handle this news with grace or dignity. In fact, I cried. Gross, ugly, mildly embarrassing cries. To date, I think I've been able to ignore the realities of where my mom is working, pretending that she is safe and sound, acting as the Peace Corps Director in some new and unexplored part of the world. Instead she's in the middle of a war zone.

My mom is safe tonight, and I am so grateful. There are so many other people in this country facing the same reality - loved ones far away, sometimes safe, sometimes in harms way. I can never know enough to keep her safe and protected. I can't love her enough to keep her alive. And I think today's brush - however brief - with mortality was more than I wanted from the day.

The truth is that we all face dangers every day, right? Today I drove on highways and flew in a plane and took a taxi and lived in New York. There are risks with each of those decisions. But somehow the distance, or the uncertainty, or the boldness of living in Afghanistan... It makes me scared. Proud. And scared.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Today was one of those days when I questioned my loyalty to New York. In chronological order:
  1. This morning I attempted guided meditation using my new favorite obsession, I haven't been getting to the gym regularly, so I've started doing yoga at home using classes streamed on this site. I've been meaning to try meditation, so this morning I settled into our play room - the sunniest, most pleasant space in our apartment - and pushed play. Unfortunately I couldn't hear the pearls of wisdom streaming from my computer because the trucks and train noises just outside our apartment were too loud. I turned off the computer in disgust.

  2. Michael and I have been battling a mouse problem. For about a month. Our super finally came in to identify where the mice are entering, and we have a hole behind the dishwasher. Oh, and there are several gaps between our floor and the baseboards on our walls. Oh, and by the way, there are mouse droppings in my kitchen. Yuck. [Of course, at least I have a super. If I were a homeowner in Virginia, for example, who would check this out for free?!]

  3. I took Penelope, Naomi & Alice to the playground today. While there, a little boy about Alice's age wanted to play with them. This boy looked hungry, and sick, and in desperate need of a bath and some grown up attention. I gave him some of our snack and the girls would occasionally invite him to join. It made me sad. This isn't an experience directly related to New York, but somehow it felt like this City contributed to this boy's situation.

  4. It's just been a noisy, noisy night. Loud music from some neighbor's car. Trains and trucks and taxis galore. No crickets. No birds. No cicadas. Just transportation.
Obviously I still love New York. I just need to go out and enjoy the parts that make it worthwhile before I drive my husband bananas.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Dear Alice,

This weekend, you, your daddy and I went to Rehoboth Beach. It was your first trip to this heavenly destination, and I'm happy to report that you loved it! We spent the weekend eating Grottos Pizza, playing in the sand, watching the waves crash, and enjoying some quality time with your Grandma & Grandpa, who also came up to visit. And, my sweet love, we took you to Funland.

You loved your first trip to the beach, and we loved sharing this special place with you. Your daddy and I both grew up with family vacations, and it's a thrill to start this new tradition.

Your vocabulary is growing by the second. You can now say car, ball, please, blueberries (kind of), milk and a smattering of others. Your favorite books are "Llama Llama, Red Pajama," "Goodnight Moon," "My Big Golden Counting Book," and "Goodnight Gorilla." You love to help open and close doors, and are very happy to walk to the elevator all by yourself. You enjoy dancing.

When we say goodnight now, we give kisses between the slots of the crib. And then I say a silent prayer and hope you find this joy in your life.

I love you more than anything ever!


Too Cute